After intense public pressure the WA Government banned fracking across 98% of WA late last year, but left open massive Canning Basin oil and gas fields in the Kimberley. West Australian companies Buru Energy and their Joint Venture partners Origin Energy and Theia Energy as well as Texan frackers Black Mountain Oil and Gas, are now rapidly mobilising in the region to establish the industry before the community can fight back. The Kimberley is now the front-line in the battle to stop fracking in Western Australia.
Broome calling on WA Labor to make the Kimberley Frack Free photo: Damian Kelly
Only three wells have been fracked in the Kimberley. The first was Yulleroo 2 in 2010, by Buru Energy. Community members found this well leaking greenhouse gases — twice. Later it was revealed in the WA Parliament that this well wasn’t inspected by any government department for 7 years, from the time it was drilled until the second leak was reported in 2015. At Asgard, a second well on Noonkanbah station near the Fitzroy River, wastewater was found to be radioactive.
With potentially 40,000 gas wells to be drilled across the Kimberley, it is clear that this polluting industry cannot be managed safely. Check out our submission to the WA fracking inquiry for more details.
Yulleroo 3, May 2018, flooded well pad
The WA Government made some major concessions that give hope to the fight to stop fracking. Traditional Owners and freeholders were promised veto rights, and the Government promised to protect the Dampier Peninsula. At least four Traditional Owner groups whose lands cover tens of thousands of square kilometres have said they oppose fracking. However, whilst fracking companies are mobilising, the Government has yet to enact these protections.
This is a critical time in the campaign. If the fracking companies pressure and persuade communities to allow fracking now, it will be too late to withdraw support when they start their projects. It is estimated that fracking the Canning Basin alone could release 13 - 21 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent gases (CO2-e) into the atmosphere, Australia’s emissions budget compatible with the Paris Agreement is 5.5 billion tonnes of CO2-e (see report by Climate Analytics).
JOIN THE MOVEMENT TO KEEP THE KIMBERLEY FRACK-FREE
Our long-term strategy is to achieve a legislated fracking ban in the Kimberley (and all of WA). To prevent pollution to Kimberley aquifers, wetlands and rivers like the Fitzroy, we must move now. We are working with the community for a frack-free Kimberley. We will also push hard to keep the WA Government to its promises of a veto for landholders and to exclude the Dampier Peninsula from fracking.
Join our campaign and call on the McGowan Government to ban fracking in the Kimberley. Sign our petition here.
If you’d like a Frack Free Kimberley sign, t-shirt, singlet or bumper sticker, visit our shop.
The new Frack Free Kimberley T-shirt - get one from our shop Photo: Damian Kelly
We need support and resources to fight these giant oil and gas companies. If you would like to support us through a one-off or monthly donation, please go here.