POLLING in Hasluck – WA’s most marginal federal seat – shows overwhelming support for a ban on fracking in the state, according to the Lock the Gate Alliance.
The poll was conducted by research company Reachtel on Monday, October 29.
The electorate in Perth’s east, includes a considerable number of suburbs in the cities of Swan and Kalamunda, as well as the Shire of Mundaring.
Commissioned by the Lock the Gate Alliance the poll showed 62.4 per cent of respondents supported a state-wide ban on fracking in WA, nearly three times the number who did not support a ban (22.9 per cent).
Lock the Gate Alliance spokeswoman Jane Hammond said the poll of 821 residents in the Hasluck electorate found 77.5 per cent of respondents were concerned about the risks to water, land and health from gas fracking across WA.
Ms Hammond said Hasluck was held by the Liberal Party’s Ken Wyatt with a margin of just 2.1 per cent.
She said more than half of all Liberal voters (50.9 per cent ) supported a state-wide fracking ban.
The result for Labor supporters was even stronger with 76 per cent supporting a state-wide ban.
The poll results come in the wake of the tabling in parliament of a petition last month signed by nearly 14,000 people calling for a permanent, legislated ban on fracking in WA.
She said the McGowan Government was deciding whether or not to lift a temporary ban on fracking covering much of WA even though the ban was not due to expire until June 2020.
After 12 months of consultation, review and analysis the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in WA handed its report to the state government on September 12.
On Wednesday, November 14 a spokesman for Premier Mark McGowan said the fracking inquiry report was still to be considered by Cabinet.
Ms Hammond said the polling showed overwhelming community opposition to fracking.
“It demonstrates how universal the support for a ban on fracking is across all political persuasions,” she said.
“We have just seen Climate Change emerge on the east coast as a major election issue and this polling backs that trend with more than 71 per cent of respondents indicating they were concerned about the climate impacts of fracking for gas in WA.”
But in a statement released on November 14 Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), which represents Australia’s oil and gas exploration and production industry, said forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirmed global demand for natural gas would surge during the next 20 years, creating a phenomenal economic opportunity for Australia.
APPEA chief executive Malcolm Roberts said the IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook showed a growing natural gas industry was an essential part of a cleaner energy future.
Dr Roberts said Australians would see a steady stream of high paying jobs, export dollars and revenue for governments for decades to come.
An ABC story published in February 2014 during the last state parliamentary inquiry into fracking said WA was estimated to have one fifth of the world’s shale gas reserves but development of its resources was estimated to be five to 10 years away.
By Anita McInnes