Bill Johnston (left) and Stephen Dawson (right) flank Mark McGowan as he announces the decision to allow fracking. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Walking a tight line on fracking

Opinion: The state government was never going to please all sides whatever decision it made on fracking.


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The decision is, of course, total illogical. If hydraulic fracturing is a safe activity when properly controlled, then there is no reason for an effective ban over 98% of the state's land area. But then we're talking religious-style zealotry and politics here, so no-one should have expected logic. What we need is a properly formulated energy policy including renewables targets so the market can dictate the relative costs of producing the different energy sources. That would put a real spotlight on the effectiveness of 'unconventionals' in the overall mix. I suspect they'd not look too rosy. I despair at the quality of the debate on this in general, but the fracking debate really is a lost cause.

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