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Why the frack would we frack? - Western Australians to rally against fracking

Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam will join protestors rallying in Fremantle tomorrow - Saturday 17 August - against the controversial method of underground gas extraction known as fracking.

"The WA Parliamentary Inquiry into hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking' announced this week is a good idea given the Barnett Government's plans to massively ramp up this industry in the Mid-West, Kimberley and elsewhere in WA," Senator Ludlam said.

"However, the inquiry's terms of reference have already been rightly condemned by landowners and the environmental movement, and with good reason due to concerns over property rights, groundwater protection and degradation of the environment.

"The Greens are calling for a ban on gas exploration and fracking at least until the inquiry is complete.

"Meanwhile, I have to ask: what sensible Western Australian Government would spend more than $100 million in unconventional gas exploration subsidies, and a 50 per cent royalty reduction for the industry which we know comes with a finite future, considerable drilling and other technological costs and is associated with so many environmental concerns?

"WA has the world's best solar resource, excellent wind and wave resources, and enviable biomass and geothermal resources. If we used these energy sources to supply just our south-west electricity grid alone, we would create between 22,000 and 27,00 local, skilled jobs - and more jobs again by rolling out solar energy plants in the northern half of the State as well.

"The Greens' Energy 2029 plan shows how we can turn to 100% renewables for our electricity by the year 2029 for cheaper than the cost of the business as usual.

"Globally, new investment in renewables has long overtaken investment in new fossil fuels. Yet, at this point, in Western Australia, only the Greens are leading the way towards a secure clean energy future,"

Rally details:

1pm. Kings Square, Fremantle. Senator Scott Ludlam will address the rally, followed by a march through Fremantle.

2pm. Community Forum above Fremantle Town Hall. Speakers include:
South-West farmer Felicity Haynes;
a representative from Doctors for the Environment;
Jamie Hanson from the Conservation Council of WA;
Louis Kent from the Fremantle Wind Farm Project;
joined by "unconventional gas refugee" Brian Monk, from Tara in Queensland, via Skype.

Download the Greens leaflet on Fracking here

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