Fracking a focus for West Swan candidates

Rita Saffioti MLA (Member for West Swan) and Jessica Shaw (Labor Member for Swan Hills). Picture: David Baylis
Rita Saffioti MLA (Member for West Swan) and Jessica Shaw (Labor Member for Swan Hills). Picture: David Baylis

FRACKING has been highlighted as an issue for the West Swan electorate going into the 2017 State Election.

Liberal candidate Rod Henderson said he supported fracking as long as it was not near a water source or in the Swan Valley.

He said he was one of the first people to support a ban on fracking in the Swan Valley.

“If you have an area where there is no geological impact on groundwater then there is no reason why we shouldn’t frack,” he said.

He said a priority was to ensure the Swan Valley was put on the map.

“The Swan Valley is ready to open and explode into the tourism market and we need to be putting funding into tourism to ensure the Swan Valley is put on the map,” he said.

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However, West Swan member Rita Saffioti said Labor had committed to a ban on fracking in the Perth region, including the Swan Valley and an exploration permit in Bullsbrook.

The State Government banned fracking in the Swan Valley area two years ago.

Ms Saffioti said Labor had committed to reviewing the Swan Valley Development Plan and legislation incorporating the concerns of the local community.

“The Swan Valley has a number of different interests and a board would ensure each one of these are protected and have a voice,” she said.

“We also want to sustain a coordinated effort drive by tourism WA to make sure the Swan Valley is promoted as a premier day destination, similarly to what has been done with Rottnest or Fremantle.”

The redistribution has given the Labor seat of West Swan a notional Liberal margin of 0.9 per cent on the new boundaries.