Two Rocks residents ask Bulter MLA to raise fracking concerns in State Parliament

Aimee Hamilton, Kim Garbutt and Ellie Jones with Butler MLA John Quigley.
Aimee Hamilton, Kim Garbutt and Ellie Jones with Butler MLA John Quigley.

RESIDENTS wanting to ensure fracking does not take place in the northern suburbs have taken their concerns to a local politician.

Two Rocks resident Ellie Jones and friends have asked Butler MLA John Quigley to raise their concerns in State Parliament.

Miss Jones said she was concerned that fracking could take place in national parks such as Yanchep and native title land under current legislation.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) however told the Weekender there were no current petroleum titles in the Yanchep and Two Rocks area.

After seeing the effects of fracking in other parts of Australia, Miss Jones said she was worried about potential contamination of Perth’s groundwater sources if fracking occurred here.

“It’s a danger to WA because we don’t have the water to sustain it,” the hairdresser said.

“This would directly affect our drinking water and our farming land.

“We can’t rely on our dams anymore; we are entirely relying on our aquifers.”

A DMP spokeswoman said while there had been some exploration in the past, no wells had been drilled and the area had “low prospectivity for petroleum”.

“Petroleum titles are released in a manner which may overlap sensitive areas such as nature reserves, town sites or heritage listed areas,” she said.

“However, this in no way guarantees an automatic right of entry to the permit holder to conduct activities.

“A titleholder needs to gain approval from government for any activity conducted within the petroleum title.

“For sensitive areas as described above, there are strict, multi-agency approvals regarding environmental, health and safety regulations and every activity is assessed on its own merit.”

The spokeswoman said petroleum activities proposed within national parks would be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority.

“Even minor activities, such as seismic studies would still require DMP to refer the proposal to the Minister for Environment for conditions of access,” she said.

“All companies granted access to national parks must ensure that rehabilitation is undertaken on completion of the activity.

“The diversity and value of WA’s environment is recognised by the State Government which places great importance on the need to protect it from unacceptable risks.”

Opposition Mines and Petroleum spokesman Bill Johnston said WA Labor acknowledged communities had expressed strong opposition to fracking in their regions.

“We support a scientific approach to the regulation of fracking, and will conduct a public inquiry to examine environment, health, agriculture, heritage and community impacts prior to any fracking activity,” he said.

“We will place a moratorium on the use of fracking until such an inquiry can demonstrate that the process will not compromise the environment, groundwater, public health or contribute adversely to climate change.”

The DMP spokeswoman said the State Government appreciated the level of concern some community members had regarding hydraulic fracture stimulation.

“The State Government is committed to ensuring the State’s resources sector is developed and managed responsibly and sustainably for the benefit of all Western Australians,” she said.

“This commitment is based on scientific evidence, and supporting a competent and well-resourced regulator.”

The Frack Free Future group is hosting a free information evening in Greenwood this evening.

Call Pat on 9409 7664 for more information.