THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019: The McGowan Government has condemned some of Western Australia’s best farmland and significant cultural regions to being fracked, with today’s lifting of the fracking moratorium for existing petroleum titles.
Huge swathes of the extremely productive WA Wheatbelt and Mid West regions, and key sensitive areas and wetlands across the Kimberley, can now be fracked, according to the mapping released by the government.
A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in Western Australia, Jarrad Thomas, said the McGowan Government had failed the people of WA with this decision.
“Fracking poses an unacceptable risk to groundwater, the production of food and fibre, and WA’s unique environment,” he said.
“The McGowan Government hasn’t finished writing the codes of practice, or implemented the WA Fracking Inquiry’s recommendations. Nor has it done the community consultation it promised.”
Mr Thomas said the lifting of the moratorium had created two classes of citizens – those whose homes and land could be sacrificed to fracking companies, and those who were protected.
“No one and nowhere should be put in a sacrifice zone for fracking,” he said.
“This announcement means the government has given the green light for gas companies to frack more than 5 million hectares of land in Western Australia – that’s an area nearly the size of Tasmania.
“We also remain concerned that this announcement is a Trojan Horse to open more of the state to fracking – official bans only cover a very small section of the state.
“Instead of learning from Victorian Labor, which was swept to a massive electoral victory after promising to enshrine its fracking ban in the state’s constitution, WA Labor has chosen to take the state down this risky road.
“But the community resistance to fracking is growing as local people work together to defend their land and water.
“Lock the Gate Alliance condemns this decision in the strongest terms possible, and vows to continue to work alongside communities in the fight against unconventional gasfields in WA.”