On 5 September 2017 the West Australian government announced that it had banned fracking in the South West, Peel and Perth metropolitan regions and put in place a statewide moratorium, pending an independent scientific inquiry. The moratorium prohibits companies from using fracking during exploration or production.
A committee, to be chaired by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) chair Dr Tom Hatton, will conduct the scientific inquiry into fracking. The Inquiry will seek independent expert advice about the process of fracking in Western Australian geologies and environments. The scope is to understand the immediate and long-term impacts of the fracking process on environment, water, agricultural productivity and community. The synthesis of this input by the inquiry will inform Government about the viability of this process in Western Australia. For further details on the Inquiry please click here.
“The scientific inquiry will use credible scientific and historical evidence to assess each level of risk associated with fracking and outline regulatory mechanisms to identify and minimise potential risks to the environment, health, agriculture, heritage and the community.”
(Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety acting Executive Director Petroleum Denis Wills)
However, unlike other broader inquiries across Australia, this inquiry is more limited in scope because it is not considering the fracking industry and its socio-economic impact on other industries, and the comparative value of fracking against other energy producing technologies.
EDOWA will provide updates and commentary on the inquiry as it progresses.