Tide of misinformation angers Minister
An opinion piece in last week’s West Australian newspaper from the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Marmion reinforces the strict operating principals of the State’s regulatory system and the Minister’s frustration over the continuing circulation of misinformation surrounding onshore oil and gas development.
Minister Marmion has extensive experience with industry, both in his previous role as the Minister for Environment and Water and now with his current portfolio has developed an even greater understanding of the risks, safeguards and benefits of the development of the onshore natural gas industry in Western Australia.
“Concerns about risks are understandable but there are risks in virtually everything we do. Risk does not equal harm,” said Minister Marmion.
Noting that his opinions regarding industry have been formed based on scientific and economic facts rather than by “deceptive, mischievous and emotive arguments”, Minister Marmion sets the right tone for the ongoing debate surrounding the industry’s growth in the state.
“I make no apologies for my support of responsible development of a shale and tight gas industry in WA that employs hydraulic fracturing,” said Minister Marmion.
A debate using facts, not fiction, is essential. Remove the grandstanding and blatant misinformation spread by some activist groups and what are we left with? Well, put quite simply, nothing.
Time and time again industry presents factual, scientifically founded arguments that are flippantly brushed aside, replaced with emotive mistruths.
The recent release of The Frackman movie is just one such example of large scale public scaremongering. Minister Marmion states that he is “concerned that a film marketed as a documentary can still reinforce fictions rather than deliver facts”.
We agree – which is why we debunked the movies many mistruths.
The Minister goes on to remind us that by developing only twenty per cent of the State’s onshore gas it would provide enough power for Western Australia for up to a century on current demand and warns that most people take gas for granted.
With consumption set to double in the next 15 years, development of the onshore natural gas industry is critical to keeping the lights on, your water hot and getting dinner on the table.
“I’m concerned that if people subvert the truth to discredit the developing shale and tight gas industry, WA will miss out on opportunities for industry and for workers and their families.”
We couldn’t agree more Minister.