YP Letters: Australian experience shows the need to ban fracking

From: Russell Scott, Member of Frack Free Ryedale / Frack Free North Yorkshire.

The Australian state of Victora has set a precedent which should be heeded in North Yorkshire, argue anti-fracking campaigners.

ON August 29, the Australian state of Victoria permanently banned fracking and other 
forms of unconventional gas extraction.

A statement from Victoria officals said: “It is clear that the Victorian community has spoken. They simply don’t support fracking... The government’s decision is based on the best available evidence and acknowledges that the risks involved outweigh any potential benefits to Victoria”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Victoria government also concluded that the move would protect the reputation of Victoria’s agriculture sector, provide certainty to regional communities; and end anxiety felt by farmers about the environmental and health risks associated with fracking.

Research in Australia had also found that for every 10 new gas jobs, 18 agricultural jobs were lost. In the same week an in-depth report published by Johns Hopkins University in the US concluded that living near a fracking site almost doubles the risk of migraines, chronic sinus problems and severe fatigue.

Meanwhile in North Yorkshire, controversial fracking company Third Energy – supported by local MP Kevin Hollinrake – wants to commence test fracking in Kirby Misperton.

The KM8 application received over 4,000 letters of objection from residents and local businesses and is widely considered the most controversial planning application the county council has ever seen. Thousands of residents attended the recent rally against fracking in York.

The KM8 test frack is the tip of the iceberg in North Yorkshire. If deemed successful, Third Energy have stated openly their intention for a further 950 fracking wells across 19 locations.

Another fracking company, INEOS has plans for potentially 4,000 wells across its licence blocks in Yorkshire.

If we allow this risky industry to settle in North Yorkshire, it will mean decades of a potentially irreversible industrialisation process across our beautiful rural areas and market towns.

It will create negative impacts on farming and tourism industries, public health risks, air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, road congestion and a potential devaluing of property prices. And who cleans up the mess should Third Energy go bust?

It’s time the UK followed the lead of Victoria, and others such as New York, France and Germany, and banned fracking immediately.