The Australian Greens said today that shale gas fracking would further industrialise the Kimberley, despite serious and ongoing community and environmental concerns.
"Industry and the WA Government are strongly pushing fracking, despite the risks it presents," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"Shale gas fracking and drilling is the latest onslaught to agricultural and regional communities, causing land disturbance and a significant threat of contamination and disruption of groundwater systems.
"The Greens oppose shale gas fracking in the Kimberley given its potential to harm the environment, water sources, community and cultural values of the region.
"Once again, the WA Government's actions suggest they're willing to ignore the science, environmental impacts and wishes of the community when it comes to making decisions about resource development in the Kimberley.
"In submission to a WA Parliamentary Inquiry, both the Department of Health and the Water Corporation raise public health concerns about the fracking process, highlighting the risk of contamination of groundwater.
"The Water Corporation also noted the trouble they'd had getting any proper advice from the Department of Mines and Petroleum. This is a very concerning situation given the WA Government's poor track record when it comes to following due process and environmental assessments in the Kimberley.
"The Premier's attempt to develop James Price Point shows repeated examples of mismanagement and bad governance, including the acceptance of a deeply flawed EPA environmental assessment. Now his departments are holding up proper inquiry and investigation.
"Industry brings out the same old arguments when it comes to fracking, but the Government's own agencies are now highlighting some serious concerns, joined by the community and environmental groups. The Government's response cannot be one of avoiding scrutiny.
"The WA Government needs to start actually listening to their community and abandon the prospect of fracking in the Kimberley, rather than making decisions in the best interests of big business," Senator Siewert concluded.