Sept 2020: Protect our Iconic Natural Heritage Places

There is a public comment period open until 31 January 2020, to have a say on natural heritage places that need to be protected from fracking.

Protect our farmlands and other iconic areas: More info here

Protect important ecological areas in the Kimberley: More info here

See the Government's consultation paper with a map of the small areas proposed as natural heritage(pdf).

See the WA Government's fracking consultation website in order to make your own direct submission (you can do this as well as the form submissions).

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May 2020: Waitsia stage 2: make a comment to the EPA

Make a comment/submission: Waitsia Gas Project

The EPA is seeking public feedback on Mitsui/AWE Perth Pty Ltd’s plans for the Waitsia Gas Project. The project is for the production of the Waitsia gasfield through 6 new gas wells, a new gas processing plant, waste water reinjection and flowlines/pipelines amongst farmland just 16km from Dongara-Port Denison townsites in WA’s Mid West. We’ve made a short guide to help you make a submission.

Comments must be lodged by Thursday 7 May 2020.

You can do that online here:

https://consultation.epa.wa.gov.au/open-for-submissions/waitsia-gas-stage-2-additional-info/consultation/intro/

Mention if you're a local!

Here are some things you might want to raise in your submission:

Water usage and quality

Mitsui/AWE has conservatively estimated that 1.2 million litres of water is to be used during the total lifespan of the gas processing plant (20 years). This water will be taken from underground aquifers, and they have conservatively estimated that the water level in the Yarragadee aquifer in the vicinity of Ejarno Spring will drop 19cm in 5 years due to this. The project may also cause changes to the groundwater and surface water quality.

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • do the water use estimates take into account the water use for the drilling of planned and future wells?
  • how does the EPA propose to maintain the hydraulic regime and quality of the Yarragadee aquifer and other groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the proposal, and protect their environmental values?

Future fracking

In the past, Mitsui/AWE has told its investors that there is “significant potential beyond Stage 2”.1 It was referring to the additional 234 billion cubic feet of gas it can potentially extract from the tight sands fields that would require fracking. Once the pipelines and other infrastructure are in place there will be nothing stopping the proponent from trying to develop the fracking side of their business plan.

If fracking goes ahead in future, many more wells are likely to be drilled. This would mean estimates made in the various supporting documents about water usage, wastewater reinjection and emissions would be far from accurate. There are also various environmental risks associated with fracking that have not been addressed in the current assessment process.

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • Will the EPA provide assurances that fracking will not be allowed as part of this proposal, at this site and across this region into the future?

For example, the EPA could recommend conditions be imposed on the project that expressly prohibit the use of fracking.

At the very least, you could ask the EPA to recommend conditions that require a fresh environmental assessment and approval to be obtained before fracking activities are potentially allowed at the site.

[1] https://www.irmau.com/site/PDF/2614_1/AWE39sWaitsiaSiteTourPresentation

Reinjection of wastewater risks

Mitsui/AWE estimate that they will inject ~1 million cubic metres of wastewater (collected during gas production from the gas processing plant) into 3 old nearby petroleum wells, over the expected 20-year life of this project. We need more clarity from the EPA on the volume of water that will be injected. 

  • Is this just for the wastewater from the gas plant and the 8 wells mentioned in the proposal or is there likely to be more wastewater to deal with if/when more gas wells are drilled in further stages?
  • Why are back up wastewater evaporations ponds necessary, and what was the company’s assessment process to reach that conclusion?

The Water Management Plan does not appear to have done any modelling on what this wastewater reinjection proposal would mean for underground water aquifers, or the risks associated with reinjection, for example contamination of groundwater.

We are concerned as there is a direct correlation reported between deep well reinjection and felt seismic activity.2 Most recently, the US Geological Survey reported that reinjection of wastewater into depleted conventional reservoir wells (Class II aquifers) is the primary cause of the recent increase in low intensity earthquakes in certain areas of the central US.3

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • How will the EPA regulate this reinjection scheme to ensure that the hydrological regime and quality of the groundwater is maintained and environmental values are protected?
  • Will pollution impacts be made public?
  • Will the EPA provide the detail of other sites that used reinjection and what monitoring is happening?

[2] ACOLA Report; US EPA 2016a; Costa et al. 2017; USGS 2017.

[3] US Geological Survey 2017

Flaring – pollution, light and noise impacts

The nearby Irwin community has already seen, heard and felt the noise, light and pollution impacts from flaring in recent years during the exploration phase of the Waitsia proposal. With Waitsia Stage 2, there will be more well sites encroaching on the community.

Mitsui/AWE’s Management of Flaring Plan only addresses the impacts of flaring from the gas processing plant, not from the existing and planned wells to be drilled, some of which are much closer to Irwin townsite and other farms than the Gas Plant itself.

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • Will the EPA obtain more information about the impacts of flaring from the existing and planned wells and how it will manage the flaring to protect the community and minimise emissions?

Air pollution including greenhouse gas emissions

The project will result in approximately 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year over the 20-year lifetime of the proposal (resulting in overall emissions from the project of approximately 6 million tonnes) and will increase the State’s annual GHG emissions by approximately 0.4%.4

Mitsui/AWE’s Greenhouse Gas Management Plan does not demonstrate how the proposal will reduce net greenhouse gas emissions as is required in the new Environmental Factor Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions published by the EPA on 16 April 2020. While it outlines interim and aspirational long-term emission targets, these targets are inadequate and do not demonstrate that all reasonable and practicable measures have been applied to avoid, reduce and offset the project’s scope 1 emissions over the life of the proposal.

Mitsui/AWE’s Greenhouse Gas Management Plan, Management of Flaring Plan and air dispersion modelling do not appear to model the likely substantial escape of fugitive methane emissions, or the emissions associated with construction of the gas processing plant or drilling of the wells. The air dispersion modelling also fails to include emissions from the wells, flaring at the wells and diesel generators associated with these.

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • If and how will the project reduce, rather than increase, net greenhouse gas emissions and contribute towards the aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050
  • How does Mitsui/AWE plan to monitor and minimise the project’s fugitive methane emissions? The baseline requirements under the Commonwealth Safeguard Mechanism are not strong enough and do not include detailed on the ground measurements.

[4] Based on the 2013-2014 figure of 83.4 Mt.

Clearing of native vegetation

The project involves clearing of up to 17 hectares of native vegetation and direct loss of individual plants from 4 priority listed taxa.

You might want to ask the EPA:

  • How will the EPA manage the impacts of the clearing on flora and vegetation to ensure that biological diversity and ecological integrity are maintained?

 

References:

1 https://www.irmau.com/site/PDF/2614_1/AWE39sWaitsiaSiteTourPresentation

2 ACOLA Report; US EPA 2016a; Costa et al. 2017; USGS 2017.

3 US Geological Survey 2017

4 Based on the 2013-2014 figure of 83.4 Mt.

 

 

Comments are due by Thursday 7 May here on the EPA website.

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Take Action: EPA comment closes tonight for first fracking application in WA under McGowan

First fracking application in WA under McGowan - COMMENTS CLOSE TONIGHT (Friday 14 Aug)

Valhalla North siteTexan fracking company Black Mountain(Bennett Resources is their subsidiary) is proposing to drill and frack 6 wells in the Kimberley. The project is to take place in Exploration Permit 371 approximately 123km southeast of Derby, within the Shire of Derby. This area has been fracked by Buru in 2015 where radioactive water came to the surface as a result.

This is the first blatant fracking plan in the state under the McGowan Government. The companies exploring in the Kimberley liken the amount of gas there to areas of the US where tens of thousands of wells have been fracked. It starts with a few, and quickly expands.

You have a chance to make sure this dangerous project receives a high amount of scrutiny. The EPA has given the public days to comment on what level of assessment this fracking project should have. Submissions close at midnight this Friday 14th August - TONIGHT!

Please make your quick objection to the EPA here. 

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Snap action for the Kimberley

Join us this Friday, for a socially distanced snap action in Perth to tell Premier McGowan to stop this multinational company from fracking the Kimberley!

Last week, Texan fracking company Black Mountain blatantly announced plans to drill 6 new wells and frack in the Kimberley, near the Fitzroy River.

This project could lead to thousands of fracking wells across the Kimberley region.

The McGowan Government has not finalised its promise to increase Heritage Protection of the incredible Kimberley region, or the new Code of Practice laws.

The right to say no, promised by Premier McGowan for Traditional Owners and landholders, has not yet been implemented.

Join us on Friday at 8.15am outside of McGowan’s Perth office, Dumas House in West Perth. Tell McGowan he needs to stand up to protect the precious Kimberley.

The timing of the action is to coincide with Ministers and staff heading in to work for the day. We’ll finish up by 8.45am.

This is the first clear plan to frack since McGowan lifted the ban, it's important to push back right now.

What: Snap action to stand in solidarity for the Kimberley

Where: Dumas House, 2 Havelock St, West Perth (street parking available and it’s on the Green CAT bus route).

When: Friday, 24 July, 8.15am

How: We will socially distance, and have masks available. Please wear something red!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/342015300127198

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Don't Frack WA - Democracy in the Pub

Monday 8 April

6pm-7.30pm East Victoria Park

Don't Frack WA - Democracy in the Pub

Read more and RSVP here on our website, and share/rsvp on facebook here.

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February 2019 Perth events

Tuesday 12 February

11.30am-1pm. Parliament House Perth: Meet at the Parliament steps on the city side.

Dirty Dozen Anti-Fracking Stunt

Join us for a stunt at Parliament House Perth for the first sitting day of state parliament to send a strong anti-fracking message to our MPs. We have had just 12 fracking wells drilled since 2004 and in the past five years alone we have had 21 serious spills at those sites. Already we have had a fracking company go belly-up in the Kimberley leaving tax payers to foot the bill for the clean-up.
We need at least 12 people to join us for some street theatre. BYO mops, buckets, brooms and cleaning cloths as we clean up the fracking mess on front of parliament. We will have a fracking well and black plastic liner. We will also have white Hazchem suits and dust masks.
If you are going to be part of the stunt please come early by 11.15.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/241838160030894/

 

Wednesday 13 February

6.45 to 8.30pm - Replants, 96 Wray Avenue, Fremantle

Fracking Information Night & film night

Join us to find out what the McGowan Government's decision to allow fracking in WA means and how you can help protect our precious state from the fracking industry.

Come along and meet members of the Fremantle based Gasfield Free Metro Action Group and see if you would like to help the fight to protect land, water, health and climate stability in WA by taking part in the group or upcoming events or simply learn more about the issue.

We need to build the movement and need people with almost any skill you can think of. If you are committed to a Frack Free WA we need you.

Whether you are already part of a Frack Free/Gasfield Free group, or are getting involved for the first time, come along.

Refreshments included. Entry by donation, to help cover costs, if you can.

RSVP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/971594579696390/

 

Sunday 17 February

9am to 4pm Hazelmere Hall, Bushmead Rd, Hazelmere (near Midland)

Frack Free campaign skill share

Read more and RSVP here on our website, and share/rsvp on facebook here.

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Don't Frack WA actions

On Tuesday the WA Government lifted the fracking moratorium and paved the way for fracking across more than 5 million hectares of our state.

It is an appalling decision that we will fight with everything we’ve got.  There’s no balance here – they’ve basically given the gas industry carte blanche across most existing gas leases.

Can you join us for snap actions THIS SUNDAY to push back against this disastrous move:

Sunday 2 December

Perth 10am City Beach, north end of carpark on the grass.

https://www.facebook.com/events/371954796884503/

Badgingarra 1pm  Badgingarra Oval area.

https://www.facebook.com/events/195159274652073/

Geraldton 4pm  north end of foreshore near Jaffle Shack.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1986719171626255/

Broome 5pm Cable Beach near Zanders.

https://www.facebook.com/events/308211099785471/

The only regions that will be protected from fracking are the South West, Perth and the Dampier Peninsula. That’s great for those regions, but if fracking is unsafe there, it’s unsafe everywhere.

The government said on Tuesday that farmers and Traditional Owners will have veto rights, but we’ve since learnt there’ll be NO VETO on exploratory fracking and it won’t apply to pastoral leaseholders at all.

So, we need to push back hard and fast, and we need you there with us.  Please come along THIS SUNDAY and show them that we simply won’t stand for this.

There’s been massive condemnation of this decision from all quarters - from the union movement to farmers to Kimberley Traditional Owners.

The Premier has attempted to paint this as a balanced decision, but you only need to read the gas industry response to see that they take this as a massive greenlight for fracking.

If we push back hard and fast we can put a big dent in this disastrous decision.

Let’s make it clear the only outcome the community will accept is a state-wide ban on fracking.

We need your help to ramp up efforts to stand against the frackers. Please add what you can into the WA fighting fund.

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Snap Actions across WA

Yesterday The Sunday Times reported that the WA Government was about to give fracking the greenlight across much of WA.

We hope that these reports are wrong but if they are accurate then we need to remind the WA Government that fracking is not needed or wanted in WA.

Monday 26 November.

We are calling a Snap Action at Parliament House Perth THIS evening. Please come if you can. Numbers matter in this community stand to protect our land, our water, our health and our climate stability. Community action groups have also called actions in Broome, Exmouth and Bullsbrook at 5pm today, and Geraldton at 12.30pm today.

PERTH

5pm – 6pm

Parliament House, Harvest Tce, West Perth

Meet on city side at steps.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2277506332534740/

GERALDTON

12.30-1pm

Outside Darren West's office, 84 Marine Tce, Geraldton

Photo with sign for a ban on fracking to send to McGowan, and a thank you to Darren for supporting a ban.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/309641713222215/

BROOME

5pm

Entrance Point, Broome

Photo opp to send message to McGowan.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1751476174958689/

BULLSBROOK/CHITTERING

5pm

Ethel Warren Centre, Bullsbrook

Photo opp to send message to McGowan.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/274871143105549/

EXMOUTH

5pm

Federation Park, Exmouth

Photo opp to send message to McGowan.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/288806221755748/

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Christmas Card Challenge

Will you Join the Frack Free WA “Send Mark a Christmas Card Challenge"?

Christmas card challengeHelp send WA Premier Mark McGowan some Christmas cheer and a clear No Fracking message. 

The aim is to deck the Parliamentary Halls with No Fracking Christmas cards a plenty, from across the state, so take the challenge to tag two friends.

Send Mark McGowan a Christmas card with a polite and cheery message signed by you and your friends and family.

Here is an example:

Dear Mark,

Happy Christmas!

Please make my Christmas Wish come true and ban fracking in WA.

Best Wishes,

(Your name, town/suburb)

Mavis Moora

Or 

Happy Christmas Mr McGowan!

Please give WA a wonderful Christmas gift by banning fracking permanently across our beautiful state.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a very positive New Year,

Best wishes, (insert you name and town/suburb)

 

Challenge:

1. Select a card and write a message similar to above, and include where you are from and perhaps your occupation.

2. Take a picture of yourself with your card

3. Post it to social media and tag two friends to join you in the “Send Mark A Christmas Card Challenge”. Add the hashtags #ChristmasWish and #WAFrackingBan. Make it public so we can see it, or post it to our Frack Free WA fb page, twitter or instagram.

Postbox4. Pop your card in an envelope address it to:

The Hon Mark McGowan MP

PO Box 5324
Rockingham Beach WA 6969

Write name and your location on the back (and in the card), so it's clear you're a real person.

Please also consider signing our online petition if you haven’t already:

And call the Premier’s hotline and let his staff know you would like a permanent, legislated, statewide ban on fracking in WA:

Christmas sketch

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Ban Fracking in WA Rally

Join us on the steps of Parliament House, Perth on Thursday 11 October at 12 noon to hand over a formal petition calling for a permanent ban on fracking in WA.

We are calling on the State Government to heed the call of farmers, Traditional Owners, communities across WA, climate scientists and thousands of other Western Australian residents to legislate a permanent ban on fracking in our state.

Please save the date and make time for this important lunch time rally.

This rally is being organised by Frack Free WA & Lock the Gate with support from many regional and metro action groups and other organisations.

LET US KNOW YOU ARE COMING! RSVP HERE.

WHEN
Thursday October 11, 2018 at 12pm - 1pm
WHERE
Parliament House, West Perth
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