Rural communities make a stand against fracking

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple MLC will be in Geraldton this weekend celebrating the Community of Central Greenough’s decision to become Western Australia’s first Gasfield Free Community.

Just south of Geraldton, the Central Greenough Community made the decision to oppose unconventional gas mining unanimously after a survey of all residents found 96.2% were in favour of taking action.

Mr Chapple said he was privileged to be a part of such an important initiative, given it was the first of its kind in Western Australia.

“It’s fantastic to see communities in the Mid-West standing up for their rights,” he said.

“It sends a message to both the government and companies involved in prospective drilling right now that they can’t just do what they like where people’s livelihoods are concerned.

“I have serious concerns about fracking, especially when it is in such close proximity to our prime agricultural land.

“The practice of hydraulic fracturing not only uses an incredible amount of water for each ‘frack’, up to 34 million litres, but also comes with a significant risk of contamination to ground and surface water due to the use of dangerous chemicals throughout the process.

“None of these concerns are being properly addressed or acknowledged by the EPA or the Department of Mines and Petroleum, and certainly not by the companies out there drilling for gas right now.

Mr Chapple said Greenough’s declaration was part of a growing defiance amongst regional West Australians over the advance of unconventional gas.

Earlier this week significant concerns were raised by residents of Green Head, a Mid-West coastal community 260km North of Perth, about the proximity of proposed unconventional gas exploration 4 kilometres from the town’s drinking water supply.

“This whole situation is alarming and, in my mind, a clear conflict of interest” he said.

“There’s been no assessment of the potential risk of water contamination to the Mount Peron Water Reserve, Green Head’s only drinking water resource, yet they’ve already allowed a well to be drilled.

“And the EPA believes potential environmental consequences can be adequately assessed and mitigated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, who are actively advocating for unconventional gas exploration across our entire state.

“I am inspired by communities like Greenough and Green Head and will continue to do all I can to support and advocate for their cause, and a greater state-wide ban on unconventional gas.”

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

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