WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018: The Lock the Gate Alliance is urging the WA Fracking Inquiry to release an interim report of its findings that will be open to public comment prior to the publication of its final report later this year.
Lock the Gate will meet with the inquiry panel this morning to put the case for the interim report and call for greater transparency and public input into the panel’s recommendations.
A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in WA Jane Hammond said the WA Inquiry currently appeared to have no plans to produce an interim report and so members of the community would have no chance to cross-check its final recommendations.
“Communities across WA are looking to the inquiry to heed the overwhelming scientific evidence that fracking is a risky, unnecessary and dirty industry that threatens land, water and health,” Ms Hammond said.
“We are calling on the panel to give the public an open, fair and transparent hearing and the right to respond to any draft recommendations it makes.
“The NT fracking inquiry released an interim report that has enabled members of the public and the scientific community to highlight gaps in the document. We think that this is important to do in WA as well.
Ms Hammond said West Australians would have greater faith in the process of the fracking inquiry if it allowed a greater degree of public import.
“We are disappointed that the inquiry panel’s interaction with the public will be covered in just five half-day sessions across the length and breadth of WA and that these will be limited to registered participants only and will be closed to the media,” she said.
“The timeline for the inquiry is short and its budget small yet it is dealing with a question that has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people in regional WA.
“We are calling on the panel to give the public an open, fair and transparent hearing and the right to respond to any recommendations.”
The WA Fracking Inquiry is currently taking written submissions from the public. The submission period closes on March 19. So far thousands of emailed submissions have been received by the inquiry.
Further information: Jane Hammond 0403926467