The Western Australian Government has decided to implement a ban on fracking for existing and future petroleum titles in the South-West, Peel and Perth metropolitan regions – despite suggestions that similar moves on the eastern seaboard are linked to dramatically rising energy prices.

A moratorium has also been placed on the use of fracking throughout the rest of WA.

The State Government’s ban and moratorium prohibits companies from using fracking during exploration or production.

The future of fracking in WA will be decided following an independent scientific inquiry, chaired by Environmental Protection Authority chairperson Tom Hatton.

According to the WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, the inquiry will use credible scientific and historical evidence to assess each level of risk and outline regulatory mechanisms to identify or minimise these risks.

“The McGowan Government recognises the need to protect the State’s environment from risks associated with extracting petroleum products using fracking.

“We appreciate there is a level of community concern around fracking in WA, which is why we are commissioning an independent scientific inquiry.

“We are delivering our election commitment to conduct a public inquiry into the use of fracking.  This will include holding community meetings in Perth, Geraldton and Broome.”

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the decision will have a significant effect on the onshore oil and gas industry in the State.

“The McGowan Government’s ban and moratorium will have a major impact on unconventional oil and gas because it is highly unlikely these resources can be developed without fracking.

“We will not compromise the environment, agriculture, groundwater and public health in WA.

“To give certainty to the community, we are implementing the ban and moratorium through delegated legislation.”