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Fracking inquiry panellists named

The State Government has announced the appointment of four eminent Australian scientists to the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation.

The panellists’ expertise ranges from geophysics and geology to environmental chemistry and monitoring and the socio-economic impacts of agricultural change.

They are hydrogeologist Dr Philip Commander; regional development, agriculture and environment expert Professor Fiona M. Haslam McKenzie; human health and toxicology expert Dr Jackie Wright; and Dr Michael Clennell, a research leader in petrophysics, geomechanics and structural geology.

The inquiry, to be chaired by Dr Tom Hatton, an esteemed long-term science leader, will hold public meetings in Perth and the Mid-West and Kimberley regions, with opportunities for public submissions.

The McGowan Government last month implemented its ban on fracking for existing and future petroleum titles in the Perth metropolitan, South-West and Peel regions.

A moratorium was also placed on the use of fracking throughout the rest of Western Australia.