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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1256 asked in the Legislative Council on 28 November 2018 by Hon Tim Clifford

Minister responding: Hon S.N. Dawson
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING — GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

1256. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Minister for Environment:

I refer to the government's announcement yesterday that five million hectares of Western Australia will be opened to the environmentally destructive practice of fracking.

(1) What is the projected effect on Western Australia's greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the fracking that will occur in WA?

(2) Given the potential for dangerous greenhouse gas emissions as a result of fracking, could the minister please outline what measures the government will take to mitigate those emissions?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The inquiry found that impacts on global climate as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions from fracking is directly dependent on the scale of the industry, which is yet to be determined. The report estimates that per unit of production greenhouse gas emissions from unconventional gas development will be marginally greater—approximately 10 per cent—than conventional gas development. This figure is consistent with other peer-reviewed science on this issue. The report also concludes that, even under the unlikely scenario in which all of Western Australia's domestic gas was supplied by the unconventional gas industry, the total increase in greenhouse gas emissions would be only 0.1 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. I refer the honourable member to chapter 10 of the independent scientific inquiry's report, which I tabled in this place yesterday, and, in particular, table 10.1 on page 386 for further information.

(2) In line with the findings and recommendations of the independent scientific inquiry, the McGowan government considers the avoidance, monitoring, regulation and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions as integral to allowing this industry to operate. An implementation group has been tasked to determine the means by which this can be achieved in a plan to be delivered in March 2019.