26 July 2017
Country Women in WA say No to fracking and unconventional gasfields
The Country Women’s Association of WA has today called for an end to fracking and unconventional gasfields in WA.
The call came in the form of a motion put to the organisation’s state conference in Fremantle this morning from the Capel branch and follows a similar ban on any future unconventional gas exploration passed by the NSW branch of the CWA in May this year.
The motion accepted by the WA conference was that: “CWA of WA (Inc) request the Government of Western Australia to enact legislation to ban unconventional onshore gas mining and exploration processes to access gas trapped in tight sand and shale in Western Australia.”
The WA motion comes as communities across WA continue to express deep concern at the state government’s inaction over its election promise to ban fracking in the South West, Peel and Perth metropolitan area and it’s failure to enact a promised moratorium on fracking and a comprehensive inquiry into the unconventional gas industry.
The Capel branch said in its preamble to the motion that unconventional gasfields threatened water, land and health.
President of the Capel Branch of the CWA Toni Steinbrenner said her group had moved the motion because it was deeply concerned at the potential risk the unconventional gas industry posed to the state’s precious ground water.
“Country women across WA have spoken out loudly against this unnecessary industry and the risks it poses to our water, our health, our agricultural industries and our regional communities,” Mrs Steinbrenner said.
“The CWA has a strong history of working to protect communities, and in particular women and children from threats to their health and well-being. Fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction is one of the greatest threats we currently face.”
Spokesperson for the Gasfield Free South West Alliance Carly Stone said communities across the South West were celebrating the CWA’s unequivocal stance against the unconventional gas industry.
“The CWA represents a large number of women in regional WA and it is time the state government stopped to listen to the people. We don't want our agricultural areas turned into toxic gasfields,” Ms Stone said.
“Communities right across WA are very disappointed with the current state government over its failure to implement its promises to protect regional WA from the march of the unconventional gas industry.”
Lock the Gate national coordinator Carmel Flint said the WA state branch of the CWA was the latest group to join the nationwide fight to stop the unconventional gas industry.
“Rural families are in the front line of the unconventional gas invasion and a strong position from an organisation that advocates for rural people is most welcome,” Ms Flint said.
“We congratulate the CWA for its stance and hope that both the Federal Government and the State Government will hear the calls from rural Australia for an end to this risky industry.
“WA Labor will be playing a dangerous and undemocratic game if it tries to carve a deal for a better share of GST revenue in exchange for allowing fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction to go ahead.
“It is time Labor stuck to its election promises and introduced a moratorium on fracking and unconventional gas to protect water, land and health. It is what the CWA and regional communities have been calling for."