Victoria fracking ban & Northern Territory election: what it means for WA

So the State of Victoria has just banned fracking and other forms of onshore unconventional gas extraction [1].

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 [2].

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.

Victoria bans onshore unconventional gas!

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 [3]. 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. 

Victoria’s just announced a fracking ban, and NT voters sent a clear message about their opposition to the industry. Meanwhile there’s a large and growing call from all corners of WA to protect our precious water sources, our farms, our health and our world-famous environment and tourism zones too. 

With the WA election just round the corner, and yet another study out linking serious health impacts to shale gas fracking, voters are sure to punish politicians who ignore the warnings and continue to support expansion of the same industry here.

Premier Barnett’s Liberal Party Conference commitment to fracking [4] flies in the face of public opinion – will his MPs and new Nationals leader Brendon Grylls save their parties votes by breaking ranks and supporting the public opposition to fracking?

And will WA Labor make cast-iron election pledge to deliver their 2015 party conference platform commitment to a moratorium on fracking [5], or even strengthening it into the outright ban the Greens have called for?  

No Gasfields

The answer to those questions depends on one thing: people power.

If enough of us join together to demand a Frack Free Future, that’s what we’ll get.

And joining together is precisely what we need to do because one thing’s for sure: having been chucked out of Victoria, and with the tide firmly against them in the NT and elsewhere, the gas industry is going to throw everything it’s got at  ensuring its people win the WA election.

The news from Victoria and NT is such a pick-up I can’t stop grinning. But it signposts an even greater fight ahead so, wherever you are, please now join us in fighting for a Frack Free Future for Western Australia.

How can you contribute?

Sign our supporter statement today and dig deep to donate to our crowdfund - for a Frack Free Future!

References:

  • [1] www.premier.vic.gov.au/victoria-bans-fracking-to-protect-farmers
  • [2] For example, according an ABC article written ahead of the election, “the cost of living and fracking are among the key issues that will decide the result.”
  •  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-26/nt-election-what-to-watch-on-election-day/7789074
  •  [3] Researchers studied “over 8,000 mother-child pairs and 35,000 asthma patients…. [and] … obtained questionnaires from 7,847 patients about nasal, sinus and other health symptoms.” http://theconversation.com/fracking-and-health-what-we-know-from-pennsylvanias-natural-gas-boom-63911
  • [4] http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/wa-liberal-party-state-conference-colin-barnett-talks-economy-mining-election/news-story/ef53ee2b68046e5e867e760c82821881
  • [5] https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/regional/south-west/a/29405771/wa-labor-promises-fracking-freeze/

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