Lock the Gate Alliance has asked Premier McGowan to rule out any deals on fracking in GST discussions, after Treasurer Scott Morrison threatened to cut GST to states unless they accept unconventional gas exploration.
“We’re calling on the Premier to reject the disgraceful attempt by Scott Morrison to force fracking on unwilling states and territories in return for GST revenue – which should instead be distributed on a fair and objective basis,” said Simone van Hattem from Lock the Gate Alliance.
“The governments of the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria have all hit back at Morrison – making it clear that they will not accept this type of blackmail to overrule their state rights to control fracking and prevent damaging impacts on land and water.
“The Premier promised West Australians a state-wide moratorium and regional bans on fracking gasfields in the lead-up to the election, but has so far failed to deliver.
“We’re calling for the Premier to reject the threat from Scott Morrison outright, and urgently deliver on his promises to put a moratorium on fracking.
“He needs to tell the Federal Government that GST funding for schools and hospitals can’t be held to ransom in order to support multi-national fracking giants,” she said.
Dongara farmer Rod Copeland said that his local community was angry that this could be a serious consideration, while they are left in limbo over the moratorium and promised inquiry.
“We are even more determined to defend our water and land from risky gasfields, and are perplexed at the silence so far from our Premier,” said Mr Copeland.
“Will Premier McGowan follow the other Premiers and rule out a link between GST and unconventional gasfields that would put farmland, water resources and tourism industries at risk?
“Or will WA Labor let the Turnbull Government undermine our democracy so it can give multinational fracking companies access to thousands of hectares of land across Western Australia?” he asked.
There are gas exploration or production licenses over 50 million hectares of Western Australia, with the Department of Mines & Petroleum last week releasing their five year plan to open up thousands more, predominantly in the Kimberley, Mid West and South West.