Hydraulic fracturing decision puts investment in WA at risk

Today’s announcement by the State Government that it will implement a ban on hydraulic fracturing in existing and future petroleum titles in the South West, Peel and Perth metropolitan regions, as well as impose a moratorium on fracking throughout the rest of Western Australia, is shortsighted and unnecessary.

The State Government’s decision will prohibit companies from using hydraulic fracturing during exploration or production.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) Acting Deputy Chief Executive Kane Moyle said the decision would hurt WA’s international reputation as an attractive place to invest.

Mr Moyle said the government’s plans to establish a committee to conduct an independent scientific inquiry into fracking chaired by Dr Tom Hatton from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) was unnecessary.

“There is no environmental, public health or safety justification to ban hydraulic fracturing. A comprehensive two-year parliamentary inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in 2015 found the current regulatory framework provides sufficient safeguards to the environment,” he said.

"Despite comprehensive multiple studies in four States – Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia – all reaching the same conclusion, the Government is embarking on another costly inquiry.

“This decision threatens the reputation of the resources industry, as well as jobs and economic prosperity across the entire state.

“The resources sector is a major economic contributor and given our significant state debt, Western Australia depends now, more than ever, on its reputation as an innovative and attractive place to develop natural resources.”