Coun­cil­lors push back on frack­ing


Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Com­mu­ni­tynews . com. au Lynn Gri­er­son

SHIRE OF Mun­dar­ing coun­cil­lors are call­ing for plan­ning con­trols to op­pose gas frack­ing in any form within the coun­cil bound­aries.

They voted by ma­jor­ity on Tues­day with Cr John Daw who moved the mo­tion to pro­tect res­i­dents and the en­vi­ron­ment from un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration.

The coun­cil will write to the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion to in- ves­ti­gate con­sid­er­a­tion of plan­ning con­trols for un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration or ex­trac­tion un­der the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Region Scheme.

Cr Daw pro­vided in­for­ma­tion in sup­port of his mo­tion to op­pose gas mining and frack­ing.

“Un­con­ven­tional gas frack­ing tech­nique in­volves hor­i­zon­tal drilling un­der wa­ter aquifers and the use of wa­ter pres­sure and chem­i­cals to frac­ture the rock and re­lease the gas,” Cr Daw said.

“The net­work of pipelines re­quired is very ex­ten­sive as are the num­ber of hor­i­zon­tal holes drilled, caus­ing con­sid­er­able en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age.

“The prin­ci­pal de­posits re­quir­ing un­con­ven­tional drilling found in WA are ‘ tight gas’ and ‘ shale gas’, both of which re­quire frack­ing to re­lease the gas; some states such as Vic­to­ria have a mora­to­rium or ban on frack­ing and some coun­tries have also banned it al­to­gether, such as France.”

He said the in­tent of his mo­tion was ‘ vir­tu­ally the same as the de­ci­sion passed by the City of Swan on Oc­to­ber 19’.

In a re­port to coun­cil, Shire of­fi­cers said the WA Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on En­vi­ron­ment and Pub­lic Af­fairs iden­ti­fied in 2013 that un­con­ven­tional gas mining was a source of com­mu­nity con­cern.

Re­cent par­lia­men­tary in­quiries in other states found the gas in­dus­try has no li­cence for un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration and sev­eral states im­ple­mented statewide bans or mo­ra­to­ri­ums.

“This ap­pears un­likely in the near fu­ture in West­ern Aus­tralia given that there are sub­stan­tial shale gas re­serves lo­cated in sparsely pop­u­lated ar­eas,” of­fi­cers said in a re­port to coun­cil.

The Shire also noted the un­eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity of gas mining and bush­fire risk in the Shire.

Par­lia­ment’s En­vi­ron­ment and Pub­lic Af­fairs Com­mit­tee 2015 re­port Im­pli­ca­tions for West­ern Aus­tralia of Hy­draulic Frac­tur­ing for Un­con­ven­tional Gas con­cluded the use of ben­zene, toluene, ethyl­ben­zene and xy­lene dur­ing hy­draulic frac­tur­ing posed an un­ac­cept­able, un­nec­es­sary risk to hu­man health and should be banned.

The Shire said there were no cur­rent gas ex­plo­ration per­mits on land in the Shire.

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