November 12, 2015: The Frack Free Mid West Gascoyne Alliance has called for an immediate halt on all fracking exploration and mining in WA while a senate inquiry examines the health, social and economic impact of the unconventional gas industry.
Spokesperson the FFMWGA Irene Ghannage said today’s announcement that the senate would investigate both the coal seam gas and shale mining industries was welcome news and should be the trigger to put the brakes on the industry.
“People in the Mid West, on the frontline of this invasive industry, have been treated as collateral damage in the rush to extract unconventional gas and their concerns have until now been swept under the carpet,” Ms Ghannage said.
“Already we are seeing first hand the sense of despair that some individuals are experiencing as the gas industry railroads them into submission.
“Today’s welcome news that the senate will investigate the impacts of the unconventional gas industry should allow us to push the pause button on the fracking juggernaut at least until the potential and existing impacts of this sort of mining are independently investigated and fully and openly debated.”
The announcement of the inquiry follows the death of NSW farmer George Bender who took his own life last month after being subjected to years of bullying by the unconventional gas industry.
Ms Ghannage said her group was relieved that shale gas mining had been included in the senate inquiry as coal seam gas extraction and shale gas mining were similar in many ways including the push to access productive farmland and the health impact that push had on communities.
“Much of the well documented concerns about health and the fracking industry have come from the United States where shale gas is the predominate unconventional gas mined.
“We have seen many similar concerns in communities in Queensland who are on the frontline of the coal seam gas invasion but the industry in WA has tried to paint shale gas as less risky. This is simply not the case.
“We congratulate senator Glenn Lazarus for having the courage to stand up for all regional Australians by including the shale states in the inquiry.”