Fracking in WA

The Greens Position:

The Greens are the only party supportive of a legislative ban on fracking and we will continue to promote our position against fracking both inside and outside the Parliament, for our water, our food, our country and our climate. Other nations and states have rejected fracking, banning it entirely and opting for renewable, clean energy in its place. From places as far-flung as Scotland and New York, to Tasmania and Victoria, governments have recognised the incredible threat this industry poses to our people and our planet.

We are calling on the State Government to join us and commit to a total ban on fracking. We must ban fracking, not only for the mitigation of climate change, but to protect the health and wellbeing of all Western Australian people and the land that we inhabit.

WA has huge potential for solar energy, which is clean, renewable and affordable. A re-investment of funds in favour of developing the renewable energy sources with which WA, as detailed in the Greens’ comprehensive Energy 2029 plan, is a far safer way to secure a prosperous future for Western Australians to come.

Fracking and Western Australia:

The inquiry into Fracking in WA started in October 2013 and was predicted to take two years to finish. It has received over 100 reviews (including Robin Chapple’s submission), visited Broome and the Midwest, and sought evidence on the implications for fracking.

To view Robin's submission to the inquiry, click here: Robin Chapple’s Submission for Fracking Inquiry. The wait for the finding of the inquiry has still seen numerous exploration tenements, and early drilling occur. The Greens (WA) will continue to oppose all forms of fracking in WA.

The McGowan Labor Government has since approved fracking in 2 percent of WA’s land on the 27 November 2018. Whilst the promise of a ban on the remaining 98 percent of WA land is welcomed, this is not sufficient. Communities will not accept this Government locking the gate to one paddock while simultaneously demolishing the fences for all the others.

The consequences of fracking are both well-known, and well documented. Fracturing the earth to release gas, pumping chemicals into the ground, and storing radioactive wastewater in ponds are all part and parcel of this dangerous and damaging practice. Applied anywhere, fracking is dangerous. Applied to a sensitive and precious environment such as the Kimberley, it is absolutely disastrous.

The consequences of fracking are not only dire for the environment and climate; economically, the benefits appear to shadow the ever increasing costs of fracking. The recent Scientific Inquiry requested by the McGowan Labor Government only covered the science of hydraulic fracturing, and not the economic impact of the industry on both State and household budgets.

Research by The Australia Institute however, shows that this industry is unlikely to create a sufficient number of jobs. The industry’s ongoing promise of increased job opportunities for Aboriginal people too, seems unlikely. Research based on the current employment rates within the industry, suggests that fracking WA is only likely to create a maximum of 19 ongoing jobs for Aboriginal people.

Above all, there is a looming crisis that overshadows all: the pressing need to address climate change. The pollution from all of WAs gas would be 4.4 times greater than what Australia’s entire energy system is allowed to emit in order to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement. Until we act together to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and on to clean, renewable power, this devastating situation that we find ourselves in will only worsen.  As WA is the 2nd largest carbon emitter per capita in the world, the decisions we make on fracking affect not only the people of Western Australia, but the entire planet.

What the Greens propose:

Ban fracking for all of WA.

  • The Greens propose a 100 percent permanent ban on all fracking.
  • The transformation of our energy system away from fossil fuels and on to clean, renewable power.
  • Renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner, and it is available right now if only a Government would invest in it.

For further details please see:

What is Fracking?

Fracking refers to the extraction of all forms of unconventional gas by fracturing and fissuring source rock formations. In most cases the constructed well is drilled to the target formation, then horizontally through the formation. Small explosive charges are then set off at intervals along the horizontal section to make a series of small cracks. The rock is then ready for fracking and a slurry (comprising of water, sand and chamicals) is injected into the well at intense pressure, causing the small cracts to split and fracture. The sand props these fractures open and when the slurry is pumped back to the surface, natural gas (which is now freed from the pores in the fractured rock, flows.

For more information on fracking, visit ABC Science.


Unfortunately, drilling up to 3 kilometres below the surface, and pumping chemicals at high pressure into the ground has risks. For more information on concerns surrounding Fracking, visit CSIRO.
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