December 8, 2017

Fracking moratorium puts jobs at risk

More jobs are at risk because Mines Minister Bill Johnston has ignored his commitment for a full inquiry to inform government policy on the future of the onshore gas sector in WA, according to Shadow Mines Minister Sean L’Estrange.

“In the last nine months, the Labor Government has displayed a determination to undermine the resources sector with a ban on uranium mining developments, two attempted tax hikes on the gold mining industry and now an effective term of government ban on onshore exploration and development in the hydraulic fracture gas sector,” Mr L’Estrange said.

“The Labor Government are no friend of the mining industry in WA. They are more interested in popularist spin than policy substance and are willing to kill off jobs in the process”

Mr L’Estrange said the Liberal Opposition did not support petroleum activities that unduly interfered with other land uses such as agriculture, tourism, or the natural environment found in the south west of WA, Perth and Peel.

An independent study conducted by the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and CSIRO found that the geology of the south west of WA was not suited to hydraulic fracturing.

“With regards to the rest of Western Australia, the Liberal Opposition is supportive of Western Australia having some of the most stringent and transparent petroleum regulations in the world to ensure onshore gas projects are developed responsibly,” Mr L’Estrange said.

“The emerging onshore shale and tight gas industry can provide significant benefits to the community, such as employment opportunities in the regions, plus a reliable, affordable, cleaner energy source.”

Mr L’Estrange said the Labor Government’s state-wide onshore hydraulic fracture gas sector ban would deal another blow to investor confidence and could also potentially harm Western Australia’s chances for a greater share of GST funding.

“The Productivity Commission made it very clear in its recent review of horizontal fiscal equalisation that states that locked up their natural resources with bans and moratoriums should not be rewarded with additional GST payments,” he said.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Gaspar
0418 922 668