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McGowan Government criticised after splashing taxpayer cash on Kimberley gas and oil frackers

Lock the Gate Alliance WA is alarmed the McGowan Government has begun giving taxpayer grants to companies hoping to frack the iconic Kimberley region.

This afternoon, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston issued a media statement advising of six successful applicants for the inaugural co-funded Energy Analysis Project (EAP) program. 

While not immediately evident from the Minister’s media release, the EAP website reveals the successful applicants are six gas companies, of which three - Origin Energy, Buru Energy, and Theia Energy - are all hoping to frack for oil and gas across the Kimberley.

Each grant is worth a maximum of $50,000, and Lock the Gate Alliance WA spokesperson Claire McKinnon said no amount of taxpayer money should be given to greedy fracking companies.

“It’s bad enough these fracking companies want to pollute parts of the iconic Kimberley - the WA taxpayer certainly shouldn’t be helping them to do it as well,” she said.

“Origin Energy certainly does not need a handout - it is a huge company with fracking projects right across the country. While it claims in its glossy TV ads to produce ‘good energy’ the reality on the ground is anything but.

“Buru meanwhile, has a notorious reputation in the Kimberley - it has previously admitted that testing of flowback fluids from its 2015 fracking operations in the Kimberley showed elevated levels of the chemical contaminants boron and barium and the radionuclide radium-228. The company's solution to disposing of radioactive wastewater was to give it to cattle.

“The renewable, clean energy revolution is well underway - there is just no excuse to threaten precious groundwater for risky fracked gas. It’s time the WA McGowan Government makes a commitment not to spend any more of our hard earned taxpayer dollars on fracking companies who threaten communities and groundwater.”

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