Alcoa’s exit signals death of fracking in the Kimberley

Not everyone in the Kimberley wants fracking.

Buru Energy is an oil and gas exploration and production company that plans to explore and develop the gas resources of the Canning Basin, in the south-west Kimberley region in Western Australia.

The company wants to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to test for tight gas flows in four wells — the Asgard well in Noonkanbah, two Yulleroo wells on Yawuru country, and Valhalla in an unclaimed area.

Buru has refused to provide details of their chemical risk assessment to traditional owners.

The Wilderness Society released this statement on July 30.

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Buru must drop its plans to frack for shale gas in the Kimberley after Alcoa announced it had scrapped its deal to help fund the program, the Wilderness Society said today.

Wilderness Society Western Australia Campaign Manager Jenita Enevoldsen said: “The Kimberley is Australia’s most pristine landscape, one of the last great wildernesses left on the planet.

“It is no place to experiment with the dangerous fracking techniques. Water is too important to risk in the Kimberley. Alcoa’s withdrawal signals the death of fracking in the Kimberley.”

“Alcoa has obviously listened to Western Australians and the Kimberley community in particular, who strongly oppose fracking. It’s time that Buru followed suit and drop its plans to frack.

“Alcoa’s decision also casts some doubt over Buru’s project. Alcoa also needs to withdraw from the mid-west.

“A Department of Mines and Petroleum survey showed an overwhelming majority of people in the Kimberley and Pilbara are opposed to fracking and in 2014 the Yawuru Traditional Owners voted 96% against fracking on their ancestral lands.

“Fracking risks poisoning us, our groundwater, rivers, soils, farmland and our wildlife. We are playing Russian roulette with our groundwater, which is critical for life and agriculture in the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

“We have seen what has happened in the US and we don’t want that to happen here. Gas companies are draining our groundwater supplies and pumping toxic fracking and drilling fluids back. The fracking industry is in its early days in Australia but already there have been many problems — in the Pilliga Forest in New South Wales and in Australia’s biggest coal seam gas field, Tara, in inland Queensland.

“The Western Australian Government needs to see what has happened elsewhere and ban fracking here. Forty thousand people have already signed a petition calling for a moratorium on fracking in WA.”

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