APPEA, Gary Gray reject WA Labor gas moratorium bid

AWE's onshore unconventional gas exploration activities in the Perth Basin.

AWE's onshore unconventional gas exploration activities in the Perth Basin.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has accused the Western Australian opposition party of jeopardising jobs and investment in the State’s oil and gas industry, following the party’s call for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

“It is disappointing that Labor’s State Conference has today chosen to ignore the clear evidence which shows that hydraulic fracturing is a safe, well-understood technology that has been used in WA for decades,” APPEA Chief Operating Officer Western Region Stedman Ellis said.

“Numerous studies here in Australia and overseas have shown that any risks can be safely managed with proper regulation and good industry practices.”

Mr Ellis cited Queensland’s successfully regulated onshore unconventional gas industry as clear evidence of its safety and benefit to communities and farmers.

The call for the moratorium and further probes into the industry’s impact on the natural environment came during WA Labor’s state conference over the weekend.

WA Labor approved policy resolutions for additional inquiries into hydraulic fracturing, a moratorium on all hydraulic fracturing activity until further evidence is presented as a result of an additional inquiry, and another inquiry into royalties and taxes paid by major resource projects.

Federal shadow Minister for Resources, Gary Gray however rejected the party’s call to limit unconventional gas in WA.

“While I commend Adrian Evans and Andrew Dobbs for the effort that has gone into developing this amendment, I do not support it,” a statement issued by Mr Gray office said.

“In Western Australia, gas can be extracted from deep shales and tight geological formations via the technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“Fracking has been successfully and safely used in Australia for over 50 years.”

Mr Gray called instead for a prudent regulatory environment “based on science” to assist the industry’s development in WA.

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