WA introduces fracking moratorium

WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.

WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.

The West Australian Government has placed a ban on fracking for existing and future petroleum titles in the South-West, Peel and Perth metropolitan regions.

A moratorium has also been placed on the use of fracking throughout the rest of Western Australia (WA).

“The McGowan Government’s ban and moratorium will have a major impact on unconventional oil and gas because it is highly unlikely these resources can be developed without fracking,” said WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.

“We will not compromise the environment, agriculture, groundwater and public health in WA.”

The State Government’s ban and moratorium prohibits companies from using fracking during exploration or production.

The future of fracking in WA will be decided following an independent scientific inquiry, chaired by Environmental Protection Authority chairperson Tom Hatton.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) said an inquiry by the WA Legislative Council’s Environment and Public Affairs Committee had already found that fracking posed negligible risk.

“The Environment and Public Affairs Committee considered all of the evidence and listened to all sides of the debate before unanimously concluding after a two-year inquiry that any concerns about fracking can be addressed through regulation and ongoing monitoring,” said APPEA COO – Western Australia Stedman Ellis.

“The committee’s findings echoed those of more than a dozen other inquiries in Australia and countless independent reviews and studies which all confirmed that fracking is safe.

“The Health Department says fracking can be done without compromising drinking water and Australia’s Chief Scientist says the evidence shows it’s ‘completely safe’.

“This is not a new technology. According to the Department of Mines and Petroleum, more than 600 wells have been fracked in WA in the past 55 years with no evidence of environmental harm.

“WA does not need another fracking inquiry. What it desperately needs is new jobs, investment and royalties to help repair the state budget.”

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