WA Labor gives go ahead to fracking

Campaigning in December 2018. Photo: Simon Stevens

The Western Australian Labor government has announced it will lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of underground geological structures this month. A statewide moratorium on fracking has been in place since September 2017.

Though fracking will not be permitted in the South West, Peel and Perth regions, companies will have the go ahead to frack on existing petroleum titles.

Labor has said that existing titles only cover 2% of the state.

However, there has been a run on the procurement of additional petroleum leases by various operators since Labor announced its 18-month “implementation plan” in July, presumably in anticipation that rules may change later to facilitate fracking on new titles.

Labor has opened the door to a gas mining process that has proven to be environmentally, socially and financially dangerous. It has done so despite many of the required regulations not currently being in place.

Labor has also said that the right of Traditional Owners to veto fracking operations on their lands will not apply to any exploration application.

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