No frack­ing way, lo­cals em­pha­sise

Southern Telegraph - - Front Page - Chloe Fraser

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.

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