Western Australia Eases Fracking Ban
Western Australia has eased restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing, as it promised to do last year, but the unconventional technique remains banned in all but a select few areas.
A moratorium on fracturing has been lifted for all exploration licences that were active on November 26 2018, the local government’s mines and petroleum ministry said on September 6. However, the ban will remain in force in the South-West, Peel and Perth metro areas, and also Broome, Kalbarri and the Dampier peninsula. It will also be illegal within 2 km of drinking water sources, and in national parks and towns. The ministry said this meant fracturing would remain prohibited in 98% of the state.
“Companies undertaking future hydraulic fracturing activities will need to refer all exploration and production projects to the environmental protection authority for assessment,” the state’s petroleum minister Bill Johnston said. “A new code of practice will also be developed, prescribing minimum enforceable standards for hydraulic fracturing activities.”