Senate debates

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Statements by Senators

Gas Industry

1:50 pm

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I wish to speak today about threats to the magnificent part of WA that is the Kimberley. It is one that is very close to my heart. Black Mountain Oil and Gas subsidiary Bennett Resources—Texas-based frackers—want to frack the heart of the Kimberley. Black Mountain has plans to frack 12 wells up to 50 times, using 40 million litres of water per well and a cocktail of chemicals. They want to drill to a depth of two to four kilometres below the ground. They want to bulldoze 109 hectares of native vegetation and bushland to create access tracks, accommodation camps and fracking operation sites, including toxic waste storage, wastewater storage ponds and flaring pits.

The fracking is proposed to take place over seven years, but if they get a foothold they could be fracking thousands of wells for decades to come. The current plan is to drill and frack 20 wells, but this is just the beginning. Black Mountain have said they want to produce 900 terajoules of gas. To do this would require thousands of wells on land surrounding Mount Hardman Creek and Mount Wynne Creek, which flow into the magnificent Mardoowarra—the Fitzroy River. This is a terrible decision that Premier McGowan has made for the Kimberley. While First Nations peoples and farmers have veto rights over fracking, we know that as soon as a Liberal government gets in they will empower open slather and rights will be binned. We have had experience of that in the past. I commend the work of Environs Kimberley, who are working closely with First Nations peoples to highlight the dangers of this fracking and to oppose it. We say: no fracking in the Kimberley.