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Water and tourism industry at risk if fracking is permitted at iconic Coober Pedy

Lock the Gate Alliance condemns moves by the South Australian Government to open up the region surrounding the iconic Australian outback town of Coober Pedy to fracking.

Last week, the Marshall Government approved an environmental impact report and statement of environmental objectives from fracking company Sapex, a subsidiary of Tri-Star Petroleum Group.

Tri-Star must now submit a further application with specific technical details before it receives the final go ahead.

LTGA spokesperson Naomi Hogan said there were serious concerns about the impact fracking would have on water in the remote and arid region.

“To get the gas, Sapax needs to frack through the much larger Great Artesian Basin, the only water source for Coober Pedy’s 2,000 residents,” she said.

“There is no social licence for this activity in this region either from the majority of local residents or the broader South Australian community.

“Today, we have seen the local council’s chief executive Colin Pitman express concerns about fracking in Coober Pedy, including the controversial practice’s potential to trigger earthquakes.

“Thirty percent of buildings in Coober Pedy are underground - clearly an activity like fracking that has the potential to trigger earthquakes should not occur here.

“If allowed to proceed, the existence of an unconventional oil and gas mining industry will also have a negative impact on a region that relies heavily on tourism.

“Ultimately, the benefits of opening such an iconic region to fracking do not outweigh the costs to people’s health, lifestyle, and the local economy.”

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