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WA Government responds to hydraulic fracturing inquiry

The WA State Government released an implementation plan outlining its proposed actions in response to the findings of the independent scientific panel inquiry into hydraulic fracture stimulation.

The plan, which can be accessed online, was developed by a Senior Officials Steering Group co-chaired by WA’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

The steering group will action specific government policy decisions, including obtaining consent from Traditional Owners and private landowners before stimulation takes place; maintaining the existing ban in specified regions; banning hydraulic fracturing in national parks and other iconic natural heritage areas; referring proposals to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA); and strengthening regulations to ensure high health, safety and environmental protection standards are met.

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

“The implementation plan includes a number of safeguards such as the referral of all onshore exploration and production applications for hydraulic fracturing to the EPA for assessment.

“The plan also prohibits hydraulic fracturing within 2,000 m of gazetted public drinking water source areas.”

DMIRS Director General David Smith said WA has robust resource regulations and that he is confident the 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,” said Mr Smith.

For more information visit the WA DMIRS website.

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