No fracking way, locals emphasise
The Knitting Nannas rallied outside Premier Mark McGowan’s Rockingham office last week in a last-minute stand against fracking.
Protesting group the Knitting Nannas — who rallied outside Mark McGowan’s Rockingham office last Monday in a last-minute stand against fracking — are disappointed the practice was given the green light in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West regions.
The group rallied, at needlepoint, urging the State Government to permanently ban fracking in WA; however their efforts were all for naught after the Government last Tuesday announced the moratorium on fracking would be lifted across 2 per cent of the State, following a 12-month independent inquiry by the Environmental Protection Authority.
While about 98 per cent of WA will remain fracking free, the practice was declared safe in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West regions on the grounds that the risks to people and the environment were low and that more gas would lead to lower gas prices.
Existing bans in the South-West, Peel and Perth metropolitan region will continue with unconventional onshore oil and gas projects off limits in those areas.
Premier Mark McGowan said a full ban on fracking — given its low risk to people and the environment — would undermine WA’s reputation as a place to invest and do business.
“At the same time, it is crucial that the industry demonstrates that it has the support of landowners who, for the first time, will be able to say yes or no to any fracking production on their land,” he said.
“This is a balanced and responsible policy that supports economic opportunity, new jobs, environmental protection and landowner rights.”
Gasfield Free Metro Action Group member Nell Thayne, who also rallied outside the Premier’s Rockingham office last Monday, said she was deeply disappointed.
“(I am) very disappointed indeed that Mark McGowan’s Government has chosen to support fossil fuels over renewables and big multinational companies over our own farming and indigenous communities,” she said.