This year the WA Government responded to community concerns about the risks of fracking gasfields by calling an inquiry and appointing a panel, chaired by Dr Tom Hatton (who leads WA's Environmental Protection Authority).
The Inquiry Panel will be visiting a select number of communities across WA for "Public Meetings' in late February/early march. In August 2018, the Inquiry will deliver a report to the WA Government. The McGowan Government will then form a decision on whether to ban fracking everywhere, or allow it to go ahead in certain areas.
This is our chance to have a say on the future of Western Australia.
Throughout the Inquiry, Lock the Gate and other groups in WA will be working to support individuals, organisations, communities, farmers, tourism operators and pastoralists to have a say. Many regional West Australians want help to secure permanent protection from fracking.
Can you help spread the word to your family, workmates and neighbours about your local community consultation and show up to have your voice counted for clean water and a healthy future?
The Inquiry will host a "public meeting" in each location. You can go along to show support for a frack free WA, and we encourage you to get in touch to discuss putting together your key points of evidence explaining why you don't want fracking gasfields in your community.
We are awaiting to hear from the Inquiry Panel on how these meetings will be run. In the NT recently there was a mix of formal public hearings where individuals, gas companies and groups like Lock the Gate and local action groups gave presentations to the panel, as well as other 'community meetings' which were more like a presentation on the issue with limited time for Q&A.
A list of the community visits planned so far is below.
If you want to help get the message out in your area, contact: email@example.com
So far the inquiry panel has ignored calls to visit the South West and Gascoyne regions. If you want the panel to come to your region, email firstname.lastname@example.org and talk to your local MP.
The Panel said on 8 December that "details regarding venues, times, how the sessions will be run, and the registration process will be provided shortly."
In the mean time you can make a written submission through our online form which you can send as is, or edit: https://lockthegate.good.do/frackinginquiry/submit/
Stay tuned for submission writing workshops and a comprehensive submission writing guide with referenced resources.
For more on the Inquiry Panel, Terms of Reference and background papers from the Inquiry can be found here: https://frackinginquiry.wa.gov.au/