FRIDAY JUNE 21, 2019: In a move applauded by ratepayers, the Gingin Shire Council voted unanimously to oppose fracking for unconventional gas at its meeting yesterday.
The vote follows a request from ratepayers to take a strong stand against the development of unconventional gas in the shire.
The council also agreed to write to the Premier Mark McGowan expressing its concern at fracking in the region following a request from Cr John Elgin.
A spokesperson for Gasfield Free Moore River Region, Jill Brown, said the local community felt that the State Government’s decision to allow fracking in the region and across the Mid West was irresponsible and unfair.
“The McGowan Government has refused to listen to the people of this region on the issue of fracking but our councillors have listened to the calls for the protection of our precious water resources and farming lands, which is heartening,” Ms Brown said.
“We are pleased that council will write to the State Government, as we want to have fracking banned in this region. If it is ok to ban fracking in the South West and Metro regions of WA then it is ok to ban it in Moore River region and the Mid West area.”
“Our ground and surface water are precious. They are vital to this region, including our horticulture, agriculture, drinking water and for our tourism sector. Fracking, an invasive toxic industry, would put our area at risk of contamination and makes no sense.”
Long time Woodridge resident Jenny Walker said she was pleased that the Council finally supported the motion that was presented at the annual electors meeting in February, where around 40 ratepayers voted in favour of it.
“My neighbours and I don’t want fracking anywhere here in the region, least of all in areas reliant on clean groundwater and tourism, and we also know WA doesn’t need it,” Mrs Walker said.
“We want the Shire to now lobby the State Government on creating a ban over this area, and look into creating a local policy, as they can have some control of some of the activities of gas companies like seismic testing along roads, and waste dumps.”
A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in WA, Simone van Hattem, said it was great to see another regional council take a position in supporting it’s ratepayers to oppose this invasive industry.
“We congratulate the Shire of Gingin on its position, and point out to the McGowan Government the increasing opposition to fracking gasfields across the state,” Ms van Hattem said.
“While the industry is ramping up their onshore exploration activity now that they’ve been given a green light, they haven’t shown any evidence of having social licence.”
The Shire of Gingin has several gas exploration permits in its borders, covering farming and tourism areas, the town of Gingin, and a national park.
The permits are held by Mineral Resources who recently took over Empire Oil and Gas, and Macallum Group Ltd. Both companies have plans for various exploration activities in coming years, and it is likely they would need to frack as there is unconventional tight gas in the region.