Agricultural Region MLC Rick Mazza of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has welcomed the State Government’s announcement that consent by farmers will be required before hydraulic fracturing production is allowed in Western Australia.
The State Government will lift the fracking moratorium on existing onshore petroleum titles following the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2018 which found the risk to people and the environment low and manageable.
Mr Mazza said the petroleum and mineral resource industries are crucial to the State, however it is a major duty of Government to protect private property rights.
“The right to deny entry is one of the most fundamental of all property rights,” Mr Mazza said.
“It is important that farmers of private land have the ability to allow access to the land, or not, depending on their own inclinations.”
As per the final report, concerns were raised by property owners in Western Australia regarding the autonomy they have over their land and potential conflicts over land use.
Earlier this year Mr Mazza introduced the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Amendment (Veto Powers) Bill 2017 to give the power of veto for the owner of private land that is subject to petroleum and geothermal permitted activities.
During his second reading speech Mr Mazza said hydraulic fracturing in Western Australia would be dependent on negotiation, which would give farmers certainty and confidence in being able to manage their land.
“Petroleum explorers and farmers will have to sit down together to talk about access,” Mr Mazza said.
“Some farmers will allow oil and gas production and fracking on their land and some won’t – it is entirely up to them.