Fracking proposal ‘will poison Murchison’

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Long-standing Northampton resident Sylvia Raux has asked the Council to adopt a policy opposing fracking.
Camera IconLong-standing Northampton resident Sylvia Raux has asked the Council to adopt a policy opposing fracking. Credit: Geoff Vivian, The Geraldton Guardian

A member of one of Northampton’s pioneering families has asked her Shire to ban fracking, the controversial practice using water and chemicals to free up natural gas deposits trapped in rock strata.

At public question time before the council meeting on June 22, Sylvia Raux said she had been told five years ago the council would take no action because fracking would never be done within the Shire boundaries.

“Now that there is a strong likelihood of fracking going into the unallocated crown land bordering on our Shire, I am asking the question again,” she said.

Ms Raux said she was referring to a proposal to frack land adjacent to Coolcalalaya and Eurardy stations, north-east of Binnu.

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“In all probability, it will poison the Murchison River and wipe out tourism at Kalbarri and possibly the Pink Lake as well,” she said.

“Will the Shire eventually try and stop horizontal hydraulic fracturing before it’s too late?”

Shire chief executive Garry Keeffe said the council had no legislative power to ban fracking.

Shire president Craig Simkin said the council would raise the matter at the next WA Local Government Association Northern Agricultural Zone meeting.

WALGA Northern Country Zone president Karen Chapple said anything of regional consequence was more than welcome.

“All they can do is to ask the Northern County Zone to ask WALGA to investigate adopting a Statewide position ... we are not legislators.”

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