MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2017: Lock the Gate has welcomed today’s announcement of a panel for the WA fracking inquiry but says the terms of reference still need to be broadened to ensure all impacts of the industry are examined.
A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in WA Jane Hammond said it was vital that the terms of reference look at the socio-economic impacts of fracking as well as the impact on water, health, land, livelihood, communities, air quality, climate and existing industries.
“We are calling on the State Government to open the terms of reference to public submission so that the people of WA can have a say on what the inquiry investigates,” Ms Hammond said.
“If an inquiry is limited to what it can examine it is limited to what it can find.
“Across WA we are hearing calls for a broadening of the terms of reference for the inquiry so that it does not become a rubber stamp for the fracking industry.
“We welcome the panel of experts but would also like to see communities, landholders and traditional owners represented more extensively to the inquiry.
“So far we have heard only of limited sittings in regional areas. We would like the inquiry to visit frontline communities so that the panel can witness first-hand the impact of fracking on the lives of landholders, traditional owners, tourism operators and communities.
Ms Hammond said Lock the Gate would be working to present submissions to the inquiry from leading scientists around the world.
“We believe a thorough broad scientific investigation will show that fracking gasfields and their associated activities are not worth the risk to land, water, health and communities and that alternatives are a better way forward.”