Environment Minister refuses to assess fracking in the Kimberley

Greens Member of Parliament, Robin Chapple MLC, said he is absolutely astounded at the Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s refusal to assess a proposal to undertake tests for tight gas flows using hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Kimberley.

“In refusing my appeal against the decision not to assess the Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Program in the Kimberley Region, the Minister has claimed this small scale project would be used to ‘inform the environmental impact assessment of proposals progressing to commercial scale production, including the likely cumulative impacts from foreseeable future projects’.

‘This sounds to me like the Environment Minster has already given his own personal go ahead on all future fracking projects and calls into question his credibility as the WA Environment Minister and the EPA appeals process,’ said Mr Chapple.

“Plenty of studies have shown there are major environmental and health issues associated with fracking and the public are against it.

“I cannot fathom how the Environment Minister is not concerned about the contamination of groundwater and surface water, and the impacts on air quality and biodiversity for the people in the Kimberley Region.

“The Minister claims in his decision not to assess, ‘he considered the values of the environment and the extent of likely impacts’ and has confidence in the Department of Mines (DMP) to evaluate, regulate and mitigate future fracking projects.

“I am left speechless! This leaves the DMP in charge of the whole process where environmental conditions are commercially in-confidence, lacking any transparency.

The Greens oppose fracking in the Kimberley given its potential to harm the environment, water sources, community and cultural values of the region, Mr Chapple said.

The Minister advised a total of 48 appeals were investigated by the Appeals Convener, all of which were rejected.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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