JULY 13, 2016: Statham, in the Shire of Capel, is about to become the south west’s first Gasfield Free Community after more than 98 percent of residents said “YES” to being gasfield free.
Stratham will declare itself Gasfield Free at a special event on Sunday July 24. The declaration comes as the Capel Shire Council prepares to host an information expo on gas exploration in the south west on July 26.
Spokesperson for the Stratham Gasfield Free Community Group Gill Cormack said the declaration was a clear message to the gas industry that it did not have a social licence to operate in Stratham.
“Bunbury Energy has an exploration licence over 57% of the Capel Shire. This includes productive farmland, unique Tuart forest and beachside areas. It will require drilling through and putting our precious underground water resources at risk of contamination,” Ms Cormack said.
“As part of the Shire of Capel, we are used to mineral sands mining but gas mining is something very different. We want to protect our water resources, forest and wetlands from this type of industry.
“Our community survey took several weeks with a dedicated group of local volunteers going house to house, street by street, asking residents over the age of 16 if they wanted to live in a gasfield free community.
“The response was overwhelming. The vast majority of people living in Stratham have said “yes” to living in a gasfield free community.
“Our community is made up of small rural lots and of larger scale farms. We have chosen to live here for the lifestyle and the peace and beauty of this place. We don’t want it destroyed for an unnecessary and risky industry.”
Stratham is the eighth community to declare itself gasfield free in WA joining seven communities in the Mid West and more than 380 gasfield free communities across Australia.
The Gasfield Free Community movement is an initiative of Lock the Gate, a national alliance fighting inappropriate coal and gas mining.
The community declaration will take place at 2pm Sunday, July 24, at Lovelle Park, corner Fishermans Road and Chislehurst. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Further information: Jane Hammond 040 392 6467