PROTESTERS rallied in Greenmount to keep WA free from unconventional gas exploration by raising awareness of fracking as part of a roadside demonstration.
About 20 campaigners set up their Water4Life protest in Welbourne Park alongside the Great Eastern Hwy on Saturday to call on WA Labor to ban fracking in the Swan Valley.
Glen Forrest resident Michael Thomas said areas with an exploration lease included the Yarragadee Aquifer, which supplies 40 per cent of Perth’s drinking water.
“Many people in Perth are unaware of the threat of pollution to our aquifers by the process of hydraulic fracturing,” he said.
“They are unaware of the plight of our farmers, traditional custodians and rural communities whose lands face industrialisation by unconventional gas fields and its associated infrastructure.”
He said there was a groundswell of support for the Frack Free Future campaign in Kalamunda where MLA Matthew Hughes supported his local anti-fracking group.
Mr Hughes told the Gazette the unconventional extraction of gas by fracking posed concerns for human health.
“The Government is continuing to prepare its inquiry into the practice of fracking and the Labor Party’s ban remains in place until the results of the inquiry are completed,” he said.
“After that time the Parliament will discuss and legislate; at this stage the moratorium is in place until this process is finalised.”
Frack Free Future campaigner Katherine Neaves welcomed the temporary ban and inquiry, but urged the state to focus on renewable energy sources.
“We are committed to the protection of our water sources, food, health, livelihoods and precious places; we do not believe that gas fracking can be done anywhere in WA without compromising these values.”
She said a report released in May by hydrogeologist Ryan Vogwill highlighted the threat posed to WA groundwater supplies from unconventional gas mining.
Department of Mines and Petroleum published a five-year plan in June for petroleum acreage releases incorporating areas of the Kimberley.