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Highway protests call for water protection from fracking threat

sw-water4life.jpgMore than 30 actions are planned across WA for Saturday July 8 to protest at the State Government’s lack of action in protecting water resources from the unconventional gas industry.


The actions will involve groups of people taking to the highways with banners and signs in a colourful display of concern, with communities from the Kimberley to the South West calling for action to protect our precious water resources from contamination by fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction.

A spokesperson for Lock the Gate in WA Simone van Hattem said protest actions were part of a national highway action involving groups across the nation.


“We are coming together to call for protection of our water resources from the waste and pollution generated by the coal and gas mining industries. In WA the message is loud and clear that we can’t afford to waste or contaminate our ground and surface water through risky gasfield developments,” Ms van Hattem said.


“The Labor Government was elected on a platform of water protection through the promise of fracking bans in the South West, Peel and metro areas; a statewide moratorium on fracking; and a thorough inquiry into the unconventional gas industry; but so far we have seen nothing but back peddling on these promises by the McGowan Government.


“On Saturday hundreds of people will be taking to the highways in WA to let the state government know that we are deeply concerned at the lack of action on the fracking bans and the threat by the Federal Government to withhold GST revenue if fracking bans and moratoria are implemented.”


Organiser of one of the many highway action events in the South West Carly Stone from the Gasfield Free South West Alliance said her group felt disappointed by the Labor government’s failure to legislate the promised fracking bans.


“Many South West people changed their vote to Labor on the back of the promise to ban fracking in our region but that promise had been reduced to nothing more than a statement by the Mines Minister that fracking won’t proceed.


“Meanwhile unconventional gas exploration is being allowed to continue in the south west and we are seeing detailed scientific reports released as late as April this year saying that vertical fracking and a proliferation of gas wells is the best way to extract gas from the Whicher Range just 30km east of Margaret River.”


Organiser of one of the Mid West events, Dandaragan farmer Mick Fox, said the McGowan Government was ignoring the will of the people in allowing unconventional gas exploration to go ahead in areas the community had declared as Gasfield Free.


“We haven’t seen any sign of the promised moratorium on fracking nor the inquiry into the industry, what we have seen is further development of this risky industry on our farmlands and precious water catchment areas. We will be out on the highway this weekend to make sure our voices are heard.”

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