Fracking inquiry scope of consultation must be expanded to get bigger picture

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The WA Greens have questioned the government on the scope of their independent fracking inquiry, after stakeholders raised significant concerns there would only be three community consultation meetings; one each in Perth, the Mid-West and the Kimberley.

Mines and Petroleum spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said the timeline of the inquiry, which is due to report its findings by August 2018 and will hold all of its community consultation in a 2 month period over Christmas, only added to his concerns that the process would be rushed.

“Quite clearly one year is nowhere near enough time to consult with all of the individuals, communities and stakeholders who have an interest in the future, or lack thereof, of fracking in the state of Western Australia,” Mr Chapple said.

“You cannot hold a single community meeting in the Kimberley and then claim you’ve undertaken consultation for the region; there are literally hundreds of different stakeholders just in that region alone and they all deserve an equal opportunity to be heard.

“I guarantee you that every single energy company who has even the slightest interest in developing parts of our beautiful, fragile state for unconventional gas production will get a hearing with this inquiry.

“So too should every single farmer, every single remote community member, every single community that has declared themselves gas-field free and any other individual or group who has a genuine interest or concern about this industry.

“It is common practice with inquiries of this nature for an interim report to be handed down and further consultation to be undertaken if necessary. If the scope of this inquiry is not significantly expanded then it is in very serious danger of becoming a rubber stamp.”

Please see attached answer recieved last night regarding the fracking inquiry Terms of Reference.

Media contact:

Tim Oliver – 08 9486 9965 // 0431 9696 25

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