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No further blanket fracking ban: WA Labor

AAP logoAAP 7/10/2016 Rebecca Le May

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan has ruled out extending a ban on fracking beyond three regions if he wins the March state election.

However he says the party will still impose a statewide moratorium pending an inquiry into the industry.

Mr McGowan told a business forum on Friday the proposed ban in the South West, Peel and Perth metropolitan regions was justified because of their dense populations and the deep water Yarragadee Aquifer.

While Liberal member for Vasse Libby Mettam has dismissed the election pledge as pointless given no companies plan to frack those regions, Mr McGowan said there had previously been applications for Bunbury and Mandurah.

An application was on foot for Perth's Swan Valley, he told the forum.

Mr McGowan then told reporters the moratorium was still the plan "for the remainder of the state".

"I expect any such inquiry would be conducted expeditiously if we were elected to office," he said.

"But in the South West, Peel and Perth metropolitan area, I don't think fracking is appropriate and I suspect 90 per cent of the population agrees."

And if the Liberals and Nationals supported fracking in those areas, they should come clean, he said.

"It strikes me that it's a significant point of difference that I don't support fracking in the Swan Valley and the Liberal party apparently does."

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive Deidre Willmott says fracking applications should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

"We shouldn't be constraining our future energy supply with blanket policies," Ms Willmott told AAP.

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