5 September 2017

Moratorium puts oil and gas sector at risk

The McGowan government’s moratorium on hydraulic fracture stimulation puts at risk the onshore oil and gas sector.

Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum Sean L’Estrange said the State Government had regulated onshore petroleum activities in Western Australia for the past 60 years without compromising public health, safety or the environment.

“There are stringent, multi-agency approvals processes in place, involving the Departments of Water, Environmental Regulation, Health, Mines and Petroleum, and the Environmental Protection Authority,” Mr L’Estrange said.

“These processes ensure potential environmental impacts of mining and petroleum activities, including hydraulic fracture stimulation, are carefully considered before any activity can be approved.

“The responsible development of onshore gas projects can provide significant benefits, such as employment opportunities in the regions, and reliable, affordable, cleaner energy supplies to Western Australia.”

“The McGowan government’s closing of the onshore oil and gas sector is short-sighted.

“It discourages ongoing investment in research and development linked to the safe extraction of cleaner, safe energy sources for our State.

Mr L’Estrange said an independent study conducted by the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and CSIRO found that the geology of the south west of WA is not suited to hydraulic fracturing. There are no petroleum companies undertaking hydraulic fracturing in the south west.

In 2015 the Parliament of Western Australia’s Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs conducted a thorough inquiry and provided a report titled “Implications for Western Australia of Hydraulic Fracturing for Unconventional Gas”.

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