Fracking banned across region
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.