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Bryan Whan from The Vines conducting a workshop at Baskerville Hall on January 30 for those wanting to make a written submission to the WA Fracking Inquiry.

Fracking panel meets in Perth

SWAN, Kalamunda and Mundaring residents are being urged to attend a meeting with the WA Fracking Inquiry panel when it meets in Perth on Wednesday, February 28.

Lock the Gate WA spokeswoman Simone van Hattem said the meeting provided the public with a small window to express their concerns about unconventional gas exploration licences that remain over the Swan Valley, directly to the scientific inquiry panel.

“There is just one half-day meeting in the Perth metropolitan area for the public to address the panel,’’ she said.

“We are encouraging everyone to come along and let their voice be heard.

“The community needs to let the panel know that gasfields in the Swan region threaten land, water and health.

“The best estimates we have are that we could see thousands of gas wells pocking the Mid West to South West) if the unconventional gas industry is allowed to proceed.

“The implications of that will be massive.

“It will impact on water flows, water quality, the night sky, air quality, loss of natural areas and impacts on agriculture and cultural heritage.

“It is vital that the community take part in this debate.

“We urge everyone to come along and if the meeting is full to sit outside the venue and make their presence felt so the panel knows how the community feels about this industry.

“We applaud the McGowan Government for banning hydraulic fracturing in the Perth area including the Swan Valley, but there are still concerns that unconventional gas exploration licences still cover properties across the area.”

On Wednesday, February 24 the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Facture Stimulation in WA website said registration for public forums was now closed.

The website said the panel would consider perspectives, concerns and projections of onshore hydraulic fracture stimulation in WA, within the scope of the terms of reference, as well as technical evidence that would inform their consideration.

The panel said it wanted stakeholders and the wider public to assist the inquiry to ensure the panel had a full and appropriate understanding of the environmental values potentially at risk from unconventional oil and gas developments involving hydraulic fracture stimulation.

The panel also wanted any data or other evidence that might inform a scientific risk analysis of those impacts, with an emphasis on local geographies and geologies and local evidence from WA and any reflections or experience on what a regulatory framework should ideally look like if the government lifted the moratorium.

The public meeting, is at the Perth Convention Centre in Meeting Room 7, on Mounts Bay Rd between 12.30pm and 4.30pm.

Ms van Hattem said Lock the Gate and regional action groups concerned about fracking gasfields in WA were also encouraging people to make written submissions to the inquiry.

The closing date for written submissions is March 19.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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