The Shire of Cooroow has called for a moratorium on any gas fracking activity until health and environment checks are carried out on its drinking water supplies, in Western Australia‘s Mid-West.
Cooroow councillors met on Wednesday night and unanimously supported a request from Green Head and Leeman residents to put on hold any further fracking exploration work by energy company AWE’s Drover-1 drill rig.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a mining technique where a high-pressure liquid is injected into a well bore to create cracks or fractures in the underground rock and allow natural gas, petroleum or brine to seep out.
Nationals MP Paul Brown this week said a moratorium should be imposed on fracking while a state parliamentary committee investigated the potential impacts of the process in WA.
The council resolution stated it did not support any further gas fracking or exploration in the shire without a full environmental impact assessment on surface and groundwater resources by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The Drover-1 drill is located east of Mt Lesueur National Park, 250km north of Perth, and residents want an independent investigation into the potential risks to the nearby Mount Peron aquifer and bore field.
Earlier this week, APPEA described Central Greenough’s decision to oppose any development by gas companies in the region, particularly fracking and unconventional gas extraction, as a “publicity stunt”.
AWE’s managing director Bruce Clement said the company had self-referred its exploration activities to the EPA, which decided it was not likely to have a significant impact on the environment and an assessment was not required.
“Western Australia‘s very strong investment reputation has been forged by being open for businesses, not by slamming the door on resources development, which is what a moratorium would effectively do,” the association said in a statement.
“AWE acknowledges there are some genuine concerns in some sections of the community about the potential impact of our drilling operations on the Green Head water supply,” Mr Clement said.
Read more here: ABC