Lack of leg­is­la­tion a frack­ing con­cern

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Lisa Chatwin Gas­field Free Whicher Range SWWA

Al­though the La­bor Party has ad­vised a frack­ing ban is in place across the South West, no in­for­ma­tion is avail­able as to how it will be en­forced.

La­bor promised to pro­tect the South West and risks breach­ing this prom­ise be­cause the only way to pro­tect the South West is to leg­is­late.

Leg­is­la­tion will force gas com­pa­nies to pro­vide ev­i­dence they are not frack­ing and that these projects are fi­nan­cially vi­able and not de­pen­dent on tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars — some­thing they are not cur­rently bound to do.

Res­i­dents de­mand wa­ter pro­tec­tion and are loudly speak­ing out against gas fields in the South West, there­fore La­bor has been given a clear man­date by res­i­dents.

We don’t want the South West in­dus­tri­alised and we don’t want gas fields.

Yet, since the frack­ing ban, the Depart­ment of Mines, In­dus­try Reg­u­la­tion and Safety (for­merly the Depart­ment of Mines and Petroleum) has ap­proved an ad­di­tional work vari­a­tion per­mit at Whicher and La­bor has ac­knowl­edged the ban does not in­clude un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration.

Un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration re­quires frack­ing.

Mar­garet River-Bus­sel­ton Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion should be con­cerned be­cause the con­stant changes around the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “frack­ing” and the mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion be­ing of­fered leaves South West in­dus­tries vul­ner­a­ble with­out leg­is­la­tion.

A change in Govern­ment could see the cur­rent frack­ing ban re­moved with­out any com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

One Na­tion and the Greens are both of­fer­ing to sup­port anti-frack­ing leg­is­la­tion, there­fore La­bor can no longer rely on the ar­gu­ment there is not enough political sup­port to get leg­is­la­tion through Par­lia­ment.

The Fed­eral Govern­ment could start pres­sur­ing the WA Govern­ment to open up the South West to re­source min­ing and is try­ing to black­mail us with GST al­lo­ca­tion.

I urge all South West res­i­dents to con­tact your lo­cal MP and de­mand that La­bor act and draft leg­is­la­tion that will pro­tect the South West for good.

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