Knitting Nannas protest outside oil conference at Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel

Protesters outside the Esplanade Hotel, which was the venue for the RIU Good Oil Conference.
Protesters outside the Esplanade Hotel, which was the venue for the RIU Good Oil Conference.

PEACEFUL protesters want to see the back of corporations behind unconventional gas exploration.

The Knitting Nannas from the Irwin region, 68km south of Geraldton, set up a banner outside the Esplanade Hotel last Wednesday to protest the RIU Good Oil Conference.

Fracking Awareness in the Irwin Region (FAIR) member Julie Burr said they were there to “tweak the consciences” of potential investors at the conference and raise awareness of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.

Seven of the Knitting Nannas, inspired by protesters in NSW, “quietly” protested outside the Fremantle hotel with a petition during the conference.

“We want to discourage them from unconventional gas and get them to think about something a bit greener,” Ms Burr said.

No Fracking Way, Frack Free, Lock the Gate and the Conservation Council of WA have also taken a stand against fracking.

Conservation Council of WA volunteer Quentin Hibbs said he previously worked in the oil and gas industry.

“I’ve known friends who worked in the industry overseas who explained the dangerous effects of fracking,” he said.

Ms Burr said the water supply was her biggest concern.

“If their wells were compromised we could end up with our aquifers disappearing down a very deep hole or they could be contaminated if there is leakage from the wells,” she said.

Ms Burr said it was “open slather” for companies in approved exploration areas, which included virtually the entire Perth basin.

“We want a moratorium on fracking until they’ve done all their homework, which they haven’t yet,” she said.

“The only thing that can really stop industry is if money and investment dries up or possibly if there is enough of an outcry from the community, the Government sees its time to stop giving these industries an easy run.”

The Knitting Nannas donated finished beanies and scarves to charity.