Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Environment Matters

Greens support Farmers call for fracking halt on farmlands

Greens Statement

The Greens today supported a call from the WA Farmers Federation which has called for farmers to be given a right to veto fracking on their agricultural land.

Greens WA spokesperson for Water, Alison Xamon said the farmers’ voices against fracking were a welcome addition to the discussion.

Ms Xamon said the Greens had a long-standing policy supporting the right of landowners to veto mining on their property, and had in fact introduced exactly such legislation, which had not received the support of other parties.

And it was no secret that the Greens had been extremely vocal about their opposition to fracking.

“The farmers might find if they look a little closer that the Greens are better friends to them than they think, and indeed better friends than the Nationals,” Ms Xamon said.

“The Nationals have consistently failed to support farmers in their fight against fracking, and also in their right to veto mining on their land.

“Last year in Parliament we debated my Motion calling for a moratorium on the fracking industry until such time as a comprehensive assessment of the risks had been carried out, and strong laws put in place to manage any impact.

“On June 29 last year the Nationals joined with the Liberal and Labor parties to defeat this motion, effectively condoning fracking exploration spilling onto farmers’ land.

“And on May 24 last year, my colleague Giz Watson introduced the Mining Community Protection and Amendment Bill which would havedelivered to local communities the power to reflect in their planning schemes what land uses they want – or don’t want -  without the Mining Act's power of veto rendering such schemes worthless.

“National MLC Wendy Duncan stood in Parliament and said “The Nationals believe that the law already provides adequate scrutiny for mining applications and that these proposed changes are unnecessary. Therefore, the Nationals will not support it.”.”

Ms Xamon added that the Nationals were also directly responsible for funding unconventional gas exploration through the Royalties for Regions scheme and specifically through the Royalties for Regions Exploration Incentive Scheme program called “Innovative Drilling In Greenfield Areas” with a total value of $26.9 million.

“I now see the Nationals crying crocodile tears over fracking as they realise it might cost them votes,” Ms Xamon said.

“The Nationals have been enjoying their time in Government and running this State with their Liberal partners. If they want something done about fracking, they need to stand up and make it happen.

“I call upon the farmers to keep up their fight against fracking, and ask the Nationals to come clean on their position before we go to the polls on March 9, so people can make an informed choice.”

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