Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Nationals News

Love urges cautious approach to fracking and land management

Nationals Statement

Nationals WA Candidate for Moore, Shane Love has stated that the development of the unconventional gas industry or fracking should only occur in line with community concern, in particularly those of affected landholders. 

Western Australia has enormous potential for onshore gas with production dating back more than 50 years in Western Australia. The Nationals in 2012 responded to community concern about the development of unconventional gas in the region by holding three forums in Eneabba, Dongara and Gingin to allow local residents to raise their concerns and for government bodies and industry to respond.

“After recent regulatory changes by the State Government, stronger environmental protections are now  in place for exploration and production of unconventional gas, including the full disclosure of any chemicals being used in the process”, Mr Love said. 

“It is very important that Governments have stringent protections and scrutiny in place to protect the environment and most importantly our water sources”, Mr Love said.

Unconventional gas in Western Australia is usually found typically between 1500 and 5000 metres below ground level, in comparison to coal seam gas in the Eastern States that often occurs 100-400 metres below the surface and amongst potable water bodies. 

“I support a cautious approach to unconventional gas that reflects the community concern about environmental consequences particularly the safety of our water resources and which protects the rights of land owners to operate their businesses, and allows farming enterprises to fairly negotiate access with much larger gas companies.

“There needs to be a better way found to allow the industry and agriculture to coexist”, Mr Love said. 

“While the Environmental Protection Authority has the power to assess the environmental consequences of this industry, it lacks the authority to consider any social impacts including on the farming community. It is vital that a review process on the impacts on agriculture be introduced so we can thoroughly examine all the issues around the industry.

This gas resource has been in the ground for millions of years, as a community we can give ourselves more time to assure that we have the settings right before we move to commence landscape wide unconventional gas production using the fracking process.”

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