WA frac panel announced

WESTERN Australia’s government has named a hydrogeologist, an environmental expert, a human health and toxicology expert and a petrophysics, geomechanics and structural geology researcher to investigate hydraulic fracturing while industry freezes in anticipation.

WA frac panel announced Frac equipment.

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The panel will travel the state while assessing the numerous previous studies done on fraccing, after the McGowan government last month implemented its ban on the practice for existing and future petroleum titles in the Perth metropolitan, South West and Peel regions.
A moratorium was also placed on fraccing throughout the rest of the state.
As previously announced, long-term "science leader" Dr Tom Hatton will lead the panel which will hold public meetings in Perth and the Mid-West and Kimberley regions, with opportunities for public submissions.
Joining him will be Dr Philip Commander, who was the WA Department of Water's principal hydrogeologist for 13 years after being the Geological Survey of WA's long-serving senior hydrogeologist from 1971-1995.
Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie is also on the panel, having been appointed principal research leader of the Regional Economies - Enduring Community Value from Mining program for the Remote Economic Participation Co-operative Research Centre from 2012 until 2015, when she was appointed co-director of the Centre for Regional Development at UWA.
She researched the socio-economic impacts of the restructuring of the agricultural industry in a PhD in political geography.
Toxicology expert Dr Jackie Wright will also be on the panel, with about 20 years' experience in human health and environmental risk assessment in Australia, having developed a national risk practice group for a major consultancy and participated in the development of industry guidance and standards.
Dr Michael Clennell of the CSIRO, who the government calls a "research leader" in petrophysics, geomechanics and structural geology, will also be on the panel.
APPEA chief operating officer WA Stedman Ellis told Energy News this morning that the lobby group welcomed the appointment of the independent panel.
"With its focus on the science of hydraulic fracturing, we expect the panel to confirm what previous inquiries have found: that fraccing is safe when properly regulated," he said.
The panel will be undertaking the latest inquiry into fraccing which the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association calls a "waste of money", as numerous inquiries over recent years both domestically and internationally have shown the practice is safe with appropriate regulation.

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