Community forum quizzes by election candidates on fracking

FRIDAY JUNE 15, 2018: More than 50 people turned out for by election candidate forum in Roleystone on Friday evening.

The event hosted by Frack Free WA and Lock the Gate was designed to give voters in the Darling Range By-Election the chance to hear where their candidates stood on the issue of fracking in WA.

The Darling Range By Election for the West Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Darling Range will take place on Saturday June 23 and follows the resignation of former incumbent, Labor MP Barry Urban.

Eleven candidates are contesting the seat and six turned up to speak to the electors. All 11 candidates were invited to attend.

Labor, Greens, One Nation, Animal Justice, the Western Australian Party and the Fluoride Free WA Party all came along to the event and fielded questions from the audience.

Most of the candidates were in favour of a ban on fracking in WA although Labor and the Western Australian Party candidates said they would wait for the outcome of the current WA Fracking Inquiry before making a final decision on whether to support calls for a total ban on fracking in WA.

Although the electorate is not covered by any gas leases, the event highlighted the concern that many people in WA have about fracking.

The State Government is expected to rule on whether to ban fracking or give it the greenlight later this year.

A scientific inquiry is currently underway into fracking in WA. The inquiry panel is expected to hand down its findings in the next few months.

The forum heard that the State Government had last month appointed the head of public relations at the pro-fracking lobby group APPEA to act as a strategic adviser to the Premier at the very time the government is deciding on the future of fracking in the state.

Lock the Gate has distributed No Fracking triangles to supporters in the electorate and the bright yellow signs are popping up across Darling Range.