Fracking submission workshops this week

Workshops are being held to help residents who want to make a submission to the WA fracking inquiry before submissions close on Monday, March 19. Picture: Anita McInnes

GINGIN and Yanchep residents can attend learn more about making a submission to the WA fracking inquiry by attending a workshop.

Lock the Gate Alliance is coordinating a series of workshops across WA including in Perth, Jurien Bay, Moora and Dandaragan in a bid to help people wanting to make submissions to the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in WA.

On its website the inquiry says it is seeking input from stakeholders and the public so it has a full and appropriate understanding of the environmental values potentially at risk from unconventional oil and gas developments involving hydraulic fracture stimulation.

The inquiry also wants 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 Western Australia.

I also wants to hear about any reflections or experience on what a regulatory framework should ideally look like if the state government lifts the current moratorium.

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

Lock the Gate’s Mid West coordinator Simone Van Hattem said the free workshops would include writing tips, information and access to a range of peer reviewed scientific papers on the issue.

The first workshop will be held in Perth on Monday, January 22 at the Citiplace Community Centre, City Railway Station, Wellington St, Perth, starting at 6pm and running till 9pm.

Ms Van Hattem said the events were designed to encourage people to have their say and would be very hands-on.

“Many people are keen to make a submission but were wondering how to start, so we came up with a program of workshops that could assist communities and individuals,” she said.

“The events are practical and action orientated and will give people the chance to discuss the issue and learn from one another.

“The community focus will also provide local towns and regions with the opportunity to talk about what fracking might mean to their specific area, ground water and existing industries.

“With less than eight weeks until submissions to the inquiry close on March 19 we are keen to get the process rolling and the individual submissions underway.

“So far the inquiry has received in excess of 1400 email submissions though an online campaign coordinated by Lock the Gate.

“We hope that the workshops will inspire many more people to put pen to paper and let the inquiry know the potential costs in health, land and water of fracking in WA.”

A workshop will be held in Jurien Bay on Tuesday, January 23 from 3pm or 6pm at CWA Hall, Bayliss St, in Moora on Wednesday, January 24, from 10am to noon at the Wheatbelt Gallery, 68 Padbury St and in Dandaragan on Wednesday, January 24 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Redgum Village.