Brunswick Junction goes Gasfield Free
THE COMMUNITY of Brunswick Junction declared itself Gasfield Free at a special event on Sunday November 6, 2016 in Channel Park.
The declaration followed months of work that involved volunteers going house-to-house, road-by-road asking residents if they would like to declare the area Gasfield Free.
The comprehensive survey found that 93.9% of the population of the district wanted to make the declaration. More than 900 residents were served and approaches were made to every home in the town and area.
Part of Brunswick was included in a gas exploration permit area covering more than 620 sqkm of the south west.
The permit held by Pilot Energy and Empire Oil was renewed in October 2016 and just days before the declaration the lease area was shrunk to exclude Brunswick.
The shrinking of the lease was seen as a major victory for the community of Brunswick and the south west and showed just how effective Gasfield Free declarations can be.
Organiser of the survey, beef cattle farmer Judyth Salom from the Gasfield Free Brunswick group said the survey results showed that the gas companies did not have a social licence to explore or drill in Brunswick.
“We surveyed as many residents as we could and when we found people where not home we would return up to three times in order to get their views on the declaration,” Ms Salmon said.
“Brunswick is a rural community based on dairy farming, beef cattle and other intensive agricultural industries. We do not need or want a gas industry coming into our region and turning our landscape into an industrialised gasfield.
“The people of Brunswick have indicated loud and clear that gas mining, especially unconventional gas mining and fracking, is totally inappropriate in this region.
“We rely on clean air and water to produce the dairy products and other produce needed by people across WA and beyond. To put those industries at risk for a short term invasive and polluting gas industry seems idiotic in the extreme.
“We are the third community in the south west to declare itself gasfield free and we join more than 400 communities around the nation who have made a similar declaration.”