Government Plans to Sell Out WA’s Prime Agricultural Land

Monday, 13 October 2014

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has called on Premier Colin Barnett to intercede in a controversial new proposal to open up part of the state’s prime agricultural land in the South West to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Oil and gas companies have been asked to bid for the right to explore across an area between Busselton and the suburban outskirts of Bunbury including the farming communities of Donnybrook, Capel and Dardanup.

Mr Chapple said it was madness to even consider putting the state’s most valuable agricultural land at risk.

“I am utterly appalled at the carelessness of these actions taken by the state government,” he said.

“Hydraulic fracturing in the South West carries a very real risk of contaminating vital groundwater reserves used by primary producers.

“This proposal also has the potential to strip farmers of their property rights as under current legislation they might not be able to stop mining companies exploring on their properties.

“I call on the Premier to step up and oppose this proposal in the same way he did to protect the wine production and tourism value of Margaret River earlier this year in the wake of a proposed coal mining development.”

Mr Chapple said recent data from the California State Water Resources Control Board confirmed that hydraulic fracturing exploration had contaminated aquifers above maximum contaminant levels.

“If this government continues to approach fracking exploration with such reckless abandon we’ll see the same sort of thing happen here,” he said.

“This government’s vision for the future of WA is one of a desolate wasteland incapable of supporting life in any form.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

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