Frack­ing banned across re­gion

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - David Charlesworth

FRACK­ING was of­fi­cially banned in the South West and Peel re­gions in an an­nounce­ment by Premier Mark McGowan last week, along with a mora­to­rium on frack­ing op­er­a­tions across WA.

Mr McGowan an­nounced an in­de­pen­dent inquiry into frack­ing, headed by En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity chair­man Tom Hat­ton, to in­ves­ti­gate the fu­ture use of frack­ing in WA.

Mur­ray Welling­ton MLA Robyn Clarke said the ban had been a ma­jor cam­paign is­sue for her and the call for a ban was men­tioned in her maiden par­lia­men­tary speech.

Mrs Clarke said even if the pos­si­bil­ity of frack­ing in the South West was not huge, putting the ban in place was the only way to guard against it.

“With­out a ban be­ing a place, there would have al­ways been a pos­si­bil­ity of frack­ing hap­pen­ing through the re­gion,” she said.

“The use of sci­en­tific and his­tor­i­cal ev­i­dence to iden­tify the im­pacts and risks of frack­ing will en­sure that the right thing is done re­gard­ing how long the mora­to­rium is in place.”

Mines and Pe­tro­leum Min­is­ter Bill John­ston said the ban and mora­to­rium would have a ma­jor im­pact on the un­con­ven­tional oil and gas in­dus­tries.

“It is highly un­likely these re­sources can be de­vel­oped with­out frack­ing,” he said.

“We will not com­pro­mise the en­vi­ron­ment, agri­cul­ture, ground­wa­ter and pub­lic health in WA.”

Gas­field Free South West Al­liance co-con­venor Kathy Thom­son said while the group wel­comed the an­nounce­ment for an inquiry they wanted more de­tail on what leg­is­la­tion would be en­acted.

“It is good to see that the State Gov­ern­ment has moved to­wards im­ple­ment­ing its prom­ise for an inquiry into the frack­ing in­dus­try,” Ms Thom­son said.

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