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The Western Australia government has allowed fracking to go ahead in the stunning Kimberley region without an Environmental Protection Authority assessment (EPA).
However, conservation groups are outraged and have renewed their call for a moratorium on gas fracking in Western Australia. The Kimberley is home to an amazing variety of fauna, including wallabies, dingoes, quolls, sugar gliders and the endangered bilby and bandicoot.The area is teeming with birdlife, including budgerigars, Red-winged Parrots and the rare Gouldian Finch. The Kimberley also supports a spectacular and diverse variety of plants - over 2,000 species have been counted.
The EPA ruled in January that the proposal was unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment and did not need to be subjected to an impact assessment process.
It said potential impacts such as land clearing and pollution of groundwater could be monitored by the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Water.
The Environment Minister, Albert Jacobs, has dismissed 48 appeals opposing the project, arguing that fracking has been safely done in Western Australia for decades.
However, environmentalists argue that the lack of scrutiny by Western Australia’s only independent environmental watchdog is appalling, as modern-day fracking is completely different to previous technologies, with much higher risks for the environment.
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