The Kimberley—a truly special place
The Kimberley has some of the largest intact natural areas left on the planet—comparable with the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon. The Kimberley's beauty is matched only by its enormous diversity, with wild coastlines, pristine islands, sandstone gorges, mangroves, rainforests and savannas, and a plethora of unique wildlife.
The Kimberley is a culturally rich region, home to a living Aboriginal culture tens of thousands of years old, where Traditional Owners have a strong connection to country.
What is fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) involves pumping large volumes of water, chemicals and sand into layers of rock using high pressure to release gas trapped deep underground.
Fracking is also known as ‘unconventional gas’ and can involve horizontal drilling, which is a technique which is being used to extract commercial quantities of shale and tight gas, which can be kilometres below the surface, and passes through our precious groundwater.
Tight gas extraction also requires acidification, which involves pumping acids into the well to dissolve the cements between rock grains.
Pressure to open the Kimberley to gas fracking threatens to tip the balance in this precious region.
A recent report on the risks of gas fracking in Australia suggests that there is potential for over 40,000 wells to be established in the ‘Canning Basin’ of the Kimberley region.
Currently, four wells have been drilled vertically for testing by Buru Energy, backed by the Mitsubishi corporation. But now, plans are afoot to frack horizontally, threatening the National Heritage Listed Fitzroy River—which is an important source of water for the region and its Traditional Owners.
Allowing this risky industry in the Kimberley region sets a precedent for other areas to be opened up across the state, such as the south-west.
Why is fracking a bad idea?
Gas fracking has been banned by countries and states around the world due to concerns of groundwater contamination, risks to community health, contamination of productive farming and food growing areas, loss of sustainable local jobs in tourism and agriculture, and risks to our safe climate future.
Currently in WA, landholders and Traditional Owners are powerless to stop gas projects going ahead on their land, with no VETO rights.
There is a better way to secure a clean energy future: through renewables such as wind and solar, which don't threaten our water, land or climate.