Thursday, 29 November 2018
Coal Seam Gas Mining
I wish to inform the chamber that Senator Waters will also be a sponsor of general business notice of motion No. 1266 standing in my name and the name of Senator Siewert, relating to fracking. I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) on 27 November 2018, the West Australian Labor Government lifted a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking) in all but the Perth, Peel and South-West regions of the state, meaning the practice will now be allowed on existing petroleum titles,
(ii) existing petroleum titles cover 5.1 million hectares of Western Australia, a vast area almost the size of Tasmania, and threaten the ecologically-fragile Kimberley region, the Pilbara and Mid-West,
(iii) the final report of the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2018, handed down on 26 November 2018, stated: "Western Australia is the only Australian jurisdiction that has experienced a significant increase in GHG emissions since 2000, largely due to the predominance of the State's extractive industries (particularly conventional gas) ...",
(iv) a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have just 12 years to halt the worst impacts of climate change and keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, and
(v) on 27 November 2018, WA Greens MLC, Mr Robin Chapple, gave notice he would urgently introduce a bill to the Legislative Council to ban fracking in the wake of the WA Labor Government's decision to lift the moratorium; and
(b) condemns the West Australian Government for lifting the moratorium on fracking, and failing to acknowledge that development of this toxic industry will only further worsen the state's ability to mitigate and adapt to the damaging impacts of climate change.
The findings of Western Australia's independent scientific inquiry confirmed that hydraulic fracking is safe and that the risks are low and manageable, consistent with 17 previous inquiries around Australia. The government's consistent position, supported by the Chief Scientist and the CSIRO, is that unconventional gas can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable way if states adopt a scientific and evidence based approach. Unconventional gas from Queensland's CSG industry plays a vital role in supplying east-coast and southern gas markets. Unscientific bans lead to higher prices and lost manufacturing and cost jobs. This motion confirms that the Greens are an anti-science party, peddling fear and misinformation instead of facts and analysis.