Environs Kimberley calls on Minister Bill Johnston to put in place a promised petroleum rehabilitation fund to protect taxpayers
Questions in Parliament (November 14, 2023) have revealed more oil and gas wells have been abandoned in the Kimberley leaving taxpayers in the lurch for potentially millions of dollars in clean up costs.
These costs could have been avoided if a promised onshore petroleum rehabilitation fund had been implemented by Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.
An oil and gas well abandoned in the southern Kimberley by New Standard Energy has been estimated to cost taxpayers $1.4 million in clean up costs. The most recently abandoned wells near Kununurra are likely to cost a similar amount.
“We are calling on the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston to urgently implement an onshore petroleum rehabilitation fund as he promised in 2019 to protect taxpayers and the environment from abandoned wells,” said Environs Kimberley spokesperson Martin Pritchard.
“This needs to be done as soon as possible as a Texan fracking company Black Mountain is proposing to drill and frack 20 oil and gas wells in the Fitzroy River Catchment and has a proposal under assessment by the EPA,” said Mr Pritchard.
“It's clear that DMIRS is incapable of regulating this industry, they’re failing to manage a handful of abandoned wells which demonstrates they would have no capacity to manage thousands of wells. This is another reason why fracking should be banned in the Kimberley like it is in the Southwest and Perth.”