Bang Goes the Theory By Brian Wickins, 7 Sep 2017

In this 2012 documentary, the BBC explains the theory behind the decades-old practice of hydraulic fracture stimulation (fracking), and British Geological Survey Professor, Mike Stephenson explains the safeguards that have helped to ensure the safety of the technique.

Despite this, and many, many other independent studies by numerous groups and Chief Scientists, Western Australia's Premier, Mark McGowan has moved to honour one of his election promises when earlier this week he announced a 12 month moratorium on the technique in the State's southwest.

No onshore gas title holders have plans to fracture stimulate in the State's southwest and the government has been accused of "feeding a fear" and attempting to shore up the green vote.

Bunbury Energy's southwest permit area, which encompasses Capel, Dardanup and Donnybrook, in the State's southwest confirmed in 2015 that the geology within its permit does not hold unconventional gas reserves suitable for fracture stimulation – so has no plans in using the technique.

In a statement, APPEA’s COO in WA, Stedman Ellis, confirmed that an inquiry by the Legislative Council’s environment and public affairs committee in 2015 had unanimously found 'fracking' posed negligible risks. WA's Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson, who announced the moratorium, was a member of that committee.

“The committee’s findings echoed those of more than a dozen other inquiries in Australia and countless independent reviews and studies which all confirmed that fracking is safe,’ Mr Ellis said.

“The Health Department says fracking can be done without compromising drinking water and Australia’s Chief Scientist says the evidence shows it’s ‘completely safe’. According to the Department of Mines and Petroleum, more than 600 wells have been fracked in WA in the past 55 years with no evidence of environmental harm.”