The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Operating Officer Western Region Stedman Ellis said a moratorium would prevent the oil and gas exploration activity needed to encourage onshore gas investment.
“It is disappointing that Labor’s State Conference has today chosen to ignore the clear evidence which shows that hydraulic fracturing is a safe, well-understood technology that has been used in WA for decades,” Ellis said.
“Numerous studies here in Australia and overseas have shown that any risks can be safely managed with proper regulation and good industry practices.
“Importantly, the experience in Queensland over the past five years demonstrates the importance of onshore gas projects to regional communities and farmers.”
Ellis said Labor’s call for another inquiry also made no sense when a two-year inquiry into hydraulic fracturing by a WA Parliamentary Committee was expected to deliver its final report later this year.
“The onshore gas industry has the potential to become an important driver of jobs and economic development in regional WA,” Ellis said.
“Its activities are already subject to strict regulation by government and its participants are committed to high standards of health, safety and environmental management.
“Moratoriums and unnecessary inquiries will not only damage the industry’s development, they also tarnish WA’s reputation as an attractive destination of oil and gas investment.”
Just last week AAPEA released findings from a comprehensive study of how the shale gas industry could benefit the economy, stating that the increase in product could result in a long-term employment boost of 6,300 full time positions and a cumulative increase in government revenues of $961 million.