Broome based conservation group Environs Kimberley has condemned the latest gas-related announcement by the WA government which encourages the development of a large-scale gas fracking industry in the Kimberley’s Canning Basin for export.
Changes to the domestic gas reservation policy restore the ban on export of on-shore gas sourced from the Perth Basin, while lifting the export ban across the vast Canning Basin covering much of the globally outstanding environmental and cultural values of the Kimberley.
The government’s new policy states, “For the Canning Basin, these gas resources are not connected to the existing pipeline network and as such a normal application of the WA Domestic Gas Policy applies, which requires gas project developers to make available 15 per cent of exports for the domestic market.”
Previously, the export of gas from the Canning basin was banned – putting ongoing attempts to frack and export gas from the region under a cloud.
The change in policy which was enacted without any media statement or consultation with communities across the Kimberley who would be affected by the decision.
‘This is a bad decision that has been taken without consideration of the impacts of a gas export industry on the Kimberley. The removal of the export ban from the Canning Basin paves the way for a pipeline to the Pilbara from the Canning Basin which would open the gate to thousands of fracking wells across the Kimberley.’ said Environs Kimberley Director of Strategy Martin Pritchard.
“This is exactly what Kimberley communities have been fighting against. Only last week we saw thousands turn out to warn Premier Cook against supporting a fracking industry in the Canning Basin. Kimberley people know that such an industry would contaminate water, make communities sick, destroy globally significant environmental values and place the Kimberley’s tourism industry at risk,’
‘Woodside does not have enough gas to feed its giant Burrup Gas Hub expansion in the Pilbara and Premier Cook has just opened the gate for them to source this gas by fracking the Kimberley,’ Mr Pritchard said.
‘Woodside has failed to get gas processing facilities built before at James Price Point due to a national campaign against it. Any attempt to frack the Kimberley for export would damage their corporate reputation in a much more significant way.
Previously the WA Government banned fracking in the Southwest, leaving communities in the Kimberley vulnerable to this destructive industry. Once again we are seeing government decisions that sacrifice the communities and environment of the Kimberley for the sake of gas industry profits. One thing can be sure, Kimberley communities will not stand for this.
The WA Government needs to look at the serious impacts of climate change globally and we’re calling on Premier Roger Cook to ban fracking and gas industrialisation in the world famous Kimberley landscapes.’
‘This policy change shows that the Cook government is failing to roll out renewables and is basing future energy needs on gas.’
The world famous Kimberley region of Western Australia is under threat from oil and gas fracking. Three thousand people gathered in Broome and called on the new Premier of Western Australia Roger Cook to ban the industry.
The Kimberley has the largest most intact tropical savanna and the oldest living culture in the world. The $620 million tourism industry is based on spectacular unspoilt landscapes, stunning beaches and coastlines and the vibrant Aboriginal cultural experiences.
Oil and gas companies have plans to frack the region and have compared it to places in the US for its resources. Those places in the US have now been transformed by tens of thousands of oil and gas fracking wells, pockmarked landscapes and polluted air and water. Kimberley people and groups are celebrating more than 10 years of successful campaigns to protect the region from fracking; however, fracking companies have proposals that could leave the Kimberley with a landscape like those in the US. Now, a pipeline is being planned, to carry the fracked oil and gas to the Pilbara. This new threat comes as Western Australia’s new Premier Roger Cook begins his tenure.
Musicians from across the country performed free of charge at Cable Beach on Saturday August 12 include rising star Bojesse Pigram, Pilbara Country singer Bradley Hall, Kankawa Nagarra Knight, Kimberley Blues Gospel singer who performs around the world with Hugh Jackman, highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan and WA’s award winning artist John Butler fresh off a European tour.
Emma Donovan on stage at the Frack Free Kimberley Concert 2023
They all sang with one voice calling on Western Australian Premier Roger Cook to protect the world famous region from fracking.
John Butler said -
“I’ve travelled all around the world and the Kimberley is in a league of its own. Big Country with intact nature and vibrant, ancient culture.
I’ve also travelled through the American fracking fields and seen the industrialisation that’s wrecked the environment and communities. The last thing I want to see is the Kimberley industrialised by oil and gas fracking.
The Premier Roger Cook can protect the Kimberley from this nightmare scenario. That’s why I’m involved and when the call for help came from Traditional Owners and the community I gladly joined in. This concert is a launch pad and from here we’ll build the momentum for a ban on fracking the Kimberley.”
Martin Pritchard from Environs Kimberley said -
“The community is united against fracking one of the most remarkable unspoilt regions of the world, the new Premier needs to listen and take action to protect the Kimberley.'
Traditional Owners, national group Lock the Gate also addressed the crowd and Doctors for the Environment Australia were also at the event calling for a Frack Free Kimberley.
Photos: Damian Kelly