Disclosure rules may ease fracking concerns

26 Sep, 2012 11:35 AM
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Badgingarra resident and Liberal Party candidate for Moore, Mr Chris Wilkins, hopes new petroleum environment regulations introduced in Western Australia by the Barnett Government will ease some of the concern expressed regarding the hydraulic fracturing technique, or fracking, used to access unconventional gas deposits such as tight and shale gas.

“There has been quite a lot of talk of late about fraccing in regional WA,” Mr Wilkins noted.

“Whether for or against, I think we all can agree that there is a need for complete transparency to protect the environment and the people of Western Australia.”

Mr Wilkins comments came following the Barnett Government’s announced tightening of the State’s petroleum regulations.

An independent review of the State’s regulatory framework for unconventional gas activities in WA was conducted in 2011 by petroleum law expert Dr Tina Hunter.

The Hunter Review found that, although the regulatory processes were stringent, they required further strengthening to improve legal enforceability.

“Although WA has no commercial developments for tight or shale gas in the immediate future, those living and working in areas with potential deposits have been concerned about the possible environmental and health impacts,” Mr Wilkins said.

“The Barnett Government has moved to allay those concerns through the introduction of world best practice industry regulation and disclosure.”

The new petroleum environment regulations mandate public disclosure of any chemicals introduced into a well or formation, which will be made available on the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s website, giving WA the greatest level of chemical disclosure of any jurisdiction in Australia.

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