Perth’s first anti-fracking rally turns ugly

Perth’s first anti-fracking rally turns ugly by Yasmine Phillips, April 21, 2012, PerthNow
It follows Environment Minister Bill Marmion’s decision last month to allow fracking to go ahead in the Perth Basin. … Mr Marmion upheld the Environmental Protection Authority’s ruling not to assess a hydraulic fracture stimulation program being undertaken by WA-based firm Norwest Energy. The decision was welcomed by industry groups but condemned by farmers and green groups. Today, Greens MP Alison Xamon said she was disappointed with the response from police and the City of Perth. “I think it’s very important that we are able to discuss the issue of fracking and I think it’s very important that people should be able to express their concerns,” she said. … Protest spokeswoman Kamala Emanuel, who was issued a move-on notice, said she was told she would be arrested if she did not follow the notice. “I’m going to stay here and stand up against fracking,” she said. She warned unconventional gas fracking “threatens catastrophe for water supplies and quality, health, climate impacts and air and soil contamination”. “It has been a disaster in the United States, and is about to be unleashed on Western Australia without proper regulation and assessment, and with next to no public discussion,” Dr Emanuel said. “We’re rallying to protect our drinking water, soil and air.” Perth’s first rally against the controversial fracking process follows protests in the Eastern States and other parts of the world. The rally was also addressed by South-West farmer Felicity Haynes, Doctors for the Environment spokesperson George Crisp, independent candidate for Agriculture Minister Terry Redman’s seat Julie Newman and Nyoongar elder Ben Taylor. [Emphasis added]

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