Fracking: opportunity or calamity?

Last night, in the lead-up to the Western Australian State Election, a forum was held at St George’s Cathedral, Perth, exploring The Science and Ethics of Fracking in WA.

Hosted by the Frack Free Future Alliance and Doctors for the Environment, a panel of expert scientists, religious leaders and political representatives discussed if unconventional gas mining and fracking is an economic opportunity, or a health and environment calamity.

Speaking on the panel was Dr Ryan Vogwill, hydrologist, Prof Melissa Haswell, health academic, and The Right Rev Bishop Tom Wilmot, retired Anglican Bishop of Perth. Ex-Premier, Prof Carmen Lawrence chaired the evening.

Rev Steve Francis represented the Uniting Church WA as its moderator, and representatives were also present from the Conservation Council of Western Australia, Doctors for the Environment Australia, WA Labor, the Greens (WA), Catholic Earthcare Australia and Mid West Farmers.

The Uniting Church WA has also signed a petition calling for a state-wide temporary ban on unconventional gas and fracking, an immediate permanent ban in sensitive areas such as national parks, productive farmland and water catchments, and the right for farmers, leaseholders and traditional owners to say ‘no’ and refuse gas exploration and production on their land.

To read and sign the petition visit

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