• Protesters make their statement on Cable Beach.(Damian Kelly) (Supplied)
Fracking will now be allowed in some parts of the state.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
4 Dec 2018 - 1:16 PM  UPDATED 5 Dec 2018 - 12:51 PM

More than 600 Western Australians marked their opposition to the state government lifting its fracking ban with weekend protests.

Last Tuesday, the West Australian government part lifted its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial oil and gas extraction process. 

The decision was made after an Environmental Protection Authority inquiry found the practice would be low risk if its 44 recommendations were introduced.

In line with an election promise, the McGowan Labor government said the Peel, South-West and Perth Metropolitan areas will be frack free and only areas with existing exploration and production licences in the Pilbara, Mid- West and Kimberley regions will be available for fracking.

The announcement sparked the protests, with demonstrators gathering in Perth, Geraldton, Broome, and Badgingarra.  

In Broome, more 350 people attended protest on Cable Beach. The Kimberley will potentially face the brunt of fracking in the state.

Organisers told NITV News they were happy with the turnout.

"The community is calling on the Premier to come to Broome to explain his decision on fracking. The Cable Beach Statement is a message of concern and everyone who’s signed the scroll is asking the Premier to come," Executive Director of Environs Kimberley Martin Pritchard said. 

Protesters signed the statement which asked the premier to explain his decision to Broome locals.

'You have banned it in the Southwest, Peel and Perth. If it’s too risky there, then why isn’t it too risky here?' the statement read.

In a statement, the government pledged to implement all of the EPA inquiry recommendations.

These recommendations include: the strengthening and clarifying of regulations covering the use and assessment of chemicals; fracking not to take place withing 2 kilometres from drinking water sources, schools, settlements and residences; and an enforceable Code of Practice created to cover these and other restrictions.

Premier McGowan was keen to point out that 98 per cent of the state would remain closed to fracking and Traditional Owners as well as farmers would need to give their approval.

"[I]t is crucial that the industry demonstrates that it has the support of landowners who, for the first time, will be able to say yes or no to any fracking production on their land," the premier said in a statement.

The Dampier Peninsula and national parks will also be off limits.

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Labor MPs have expressed opposition to their party ending the statewide moratorium.

In June, Member for the Kimberley Josie Farrer urged the people of the Kimberley to apply pressure to the state government to keep the region frack free. 

“It is my cultural responsibility to protect the native lands of my people… I urge all my Kimberley mob and the people of Western Australia to join me in keeping the pressure on the State Government until we see a full ban on fracking in the Kimberley and all of Western Australia.” 

The West Australian protesters aren't alone, a group of Elders from the Northern Territory made their way to Canberra to voice their opposition last week.

"We live in a remote community up in Borroloola and our voice has never been heard. That’s the whole reason why I’m on this trip," Garrwa and Yanyuwa man Gadrian Hoosan said.

"I’m here because I really want to get my voice heard, for my people back in Borroloola, about fracking. It’s going to affect our community if it’s going to be there." 

The Territory government also lifted its fracking ban in April.

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