So what's all the fracking fuss about anyway?
Western Australia has one of the world's largest reserves of gas trapped in rock deep below ground. The problem is, over 100,000 individual fracking wells would be required to extract this gas.
Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is a new onshore gas extraction technique that involves drilling pipes beneath the earth, then pumping vast volumes of chemicals, sand and water at high-pressure to crack them to release the trapped gas.
There are very real and genuine concerns that many in the WA community have about hydraulic fracturing for gas.
The term 'fracking', whether for shale, tight, or coal seam gas (CSG), has become synonymous with land degradation, air pollution, climate change, chronic health problems, social agitation and contaminated and depleted water resources.
Public opposition has been fuelled by a growing awareness of both the scientific case against the industry and of the impacts on communities when the gas companies move in. Though little more than a dozen sites have been fracked so far in WA we’ve already seen serious leaks and other mishaps in the Kimberley, Mid West and South West.
News continues to spread of the appalling impact the industry has had in the eastern states on overseas. As a result a growing number of governments have banned unconventional gas extraction and fracking because of the risks and impacts on public health, the economy and the environment. Western Australian's now have a huge decision to make. Will we allow this industry to tear apart our beautiful country or will we say, "Frack Off!" to this industry and demand a frack free future for Western Australia.
Concerned citizens and members of the Frack Free Future alliance gathered outside the Hyatt Hotel in Perth to protest against the WA Government’s support for the unconventional gas and fracking industry.
The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is holding its annual ‘Petroleum Open Day’ at the Hyatt throughout Thursday.
Concerned citizens - including business owners and members of farming communities from the MidWest, South-West and across the Perth Metro area – voiced their anger at the impacts of the fracking industry on groundwater, human health and other industries.
Jules Kirby of the Frack Free Future alliance, who is attending the Open Day, said it was astonishing that the WA Government is still so supportive of the gas fracking industry given the weight of popular opinion and scientific evidence warning against it.
“We’ve just seen Victoria permanently ban all unconventional gas and fracking, and an election landslide in favour of NT Labor in part because of their promise to impose a moratorium on the industry there – when will WA politicians get the message that support for the fracking industry is electoral suicide?”Read more
So the State of Victoria has just banned fracking and other forms of onshore unconventional gas extraction .
Oh wow. How great is that? Answer: very, very great indeed. I’m stoked. If you care about food and farming, safe water supplies, human physical and mental health, the environment, climate change, this whole beautiful world of ours…. you’ll be stoked too.
Seriously, this is great. Well done to the farmers, the wine-makers, the unions and faith groups, the environmentalists and business owners, academics, politicians, traditional owners and everyone who’s worked so hard for a frack free future in Victoria.
It’s people power that’s delivered the ban in Victoria, just as it made the fight against the fracking such a key determinative issue in the Northern Territory election.
NT Labor stomped home on a commitment to a moratorium on fracking in the territory, ahead of a potential ban there too. There were other factors too for sure, but Adam Giles’s outgoing CLP party paid heavily for its unremitting support for the gas industry .
Yep, it’s people power, backed up by a growing body of evidence, especially from the US where fracking’s been going on longer, that shows the real impacts this dangerous and accident prone industry has on health, water quality and the environment.
Just last week health researchers in Pennsylvania, US, released further evidence of a link between shale gas fracking and human health impacts, including birth defects, asthma and migraines . Shale fracking in Pennsylvania is similar to what we could see across much of WA.
So now it’s all eyes on WA – just six months to go to the March 2017 State Election.Read more
Western Australia’s Frack Free Future campaign has welcomed a commitment by Federal Labor to more closely scrutinise the impact fracking has on water resources.Read more