Government introduces strict new controls for hydraulic fracturing

The State Government has released its conclusion following the scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing
Date: Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The State Government has today announced its position on hydraulic fracturing stating fracking will not be permitted in 98 per cent of Western Australia.

Following an independent scientific inquiry, the Premier said the McGowan Government will only lift the fracking moratorium on existing onshore petroleum titles concluding that the risk to people and the environment is low.

“Fracking will continue to be banned in Perth, Peel and the South-West. National parks, the iconic Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley and public drinking water source areas will also be declared off limits,” Mr McGowan said.

The 12-month independent inquiry by Environmental Protection Authority chairperson Dr Tom Hatton made 44 recommendations.

Major changes to the existing regulatory regime include:

  • no fracking to be allowed within two kilometres of gazetted Public Drinking Water Source Areas;
  • all fracking projects, including exploration and production wells, to require EPA assessment;
  • the development of an enforceable Code of Practice to ensure high standards of health, safety and environmental protection; and
  • no fracking allowed within two kilometres of towns, settlements or residents.

All of the inquiry’s recommendations will be implemented before any fracking production approvals are granted.

The State Government’s media statement can be found here.