Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Former Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs

    Minister rejects conservation council criticism

    25/10/2012 12:00 AM
    • Workshops responding to communities calls for more information
    • Direct response to public demands for information and Govt transparency
    • Scientific organisation CSIRO and industry body APPEA participating
    Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore today rejected claims by the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) that the State Government resources industry regulator had formed an unhealthy relationship with the unconventional gas industry.

    The CCWA comments were made following the first of a series of planned community briefings.

    “It is ludicrous to suggest the State’s regulator, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), has established an unhealthy relationship with industry, simply because they are providing communities with information about the hydraulic fracturing process, commonly termed fracking,” Mr Moore said.

    “The council conveniently omitted the fact that the forums include the independent scientific body CSIRO which is working with industry and the DMP to co-ordinate the workshops specifically designed to address community concerns about unconventional gas and hydraulic fracturing.  It also overlooks the fact the workshops are a direct response to communities wanting more information about the industry and fracking process.

    “The WA public continues to receive highly contrasting opinions and factually inaccurate information that is not even based on activities in WA’s developing unconventional gas sector.  I am sure the CCWA would like this confusion to continue.”

    The Minister said it was incumbent of the DMP to inform the people of WA about the regulatory processes in place designed to protect the environment and communities.

    “The department is responding directly to increasing public demand for information and more transparency from Government.  This initiative brought together the department, the CSIRO and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) to provide fact-based information sessions,” he said.

    Mr Moore also attacked CCWA criticism of the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) and said the program was designed to ensure WA’s resources sector had a long-term viable future.

    “The State’s resources sector, valued at $107billion, continues to be the powerhouse for the WA and national economies, accounting for 92 per cent of merchandise exports for the State and 46 per cent for the nation,” he said.

    “The highly competitive EIS program supports exploration for a range of resources, not just the unconventional gas sector.  WA attracted the bulk of exploration expenditure in Australia during 2011-12 and I am sure the program contributed to that.”

         Fact File
    • More information about unconventional gas development in WA at: http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/onshoregas
    • It is estimated WA holds 288 trillion cubic feet of shale gas
    • Twice the gas contained in WA’s offshore areas
    Minister's office - 6552 5400