Media Statement – New hydraulic fracturing approach aims for balance

July 12, 2019

A whole-of-government Implementation Plan was today released which outlines the State Government’s response to the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation.

The Departments of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER); and Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) are co-chairing a Senior Officials Steering Group which developed the Plan.

The steering group is focusing on introducing world-class controls to protect the environment, community and culture, and ensure industry is accountable for its practices.

DMIRS Director General David Smith said Western Australia has robust resource regulations and that he is confident the Implementation Plan will reinforce this strong regulatory framework.

“The State has a long history of safe and responsible oil and gas operations, and the steering group will work hard to maintain this world-class approach,” Mr Smith said.

The steering group will action specific Government Policy Decisions such as the requirement to obtain consent from Traditional Owners and private landowners before hydraulic fracturing production is permitted, maintaining the existing ban in the South West, Peel and Perth Metropolitan regions, and further banning hydraulic fracturing in national parks, the Dampier Peninsula, and other iconic natural heritage areas.

DWER Director General Mike Rowe said that delivering the Implementation Plan will require a considered, staged and timely approach to better meet the needs of the Government, stakeholders and the community.

“DWER is committed to protecting the State’s water resources and environment to enable thriving communities and a strong economy,” Mr Rowe said.

“The Implementation Plan includes a number of safeguards such as the referral of all onshore exploration and production applications for hydraulic fracturing to the Environmental Protection Authority for assessment.

“The Plan also prohibits hydraulic fracturing within 2000 metres of gazetted Public Drinking Water Source Areas.”

The Hydraulic Fracturing Implementation Plan website provides a single source of information for stakeholders and parties interested in the Implementation Plan, including regular updates and progress reports.

To view a copy of the Implementation Plan and for updates, go to: www.hydraulicfracturing.wa.gov.au