An Open Letter to the Western Australian Government calling for permanent ban on fracking


PDF of Open Letter can be downloaded in full here.

Full text of open letter and list of signatories below.

Dear Premier and Ministers of the Government of Western Australia —

Unconventional oil and gas development in Western Australia should not go ahead under any circumstances.

The consequences of global warming are already extremely serious; including loss of human life, extreme weather, destruction of natural ecosystems and property damage.

Western Australia is already experiencing severe impacts of global warming, which will become far worse if emissions are not decisively reduced.

Within our children’s lifetime average summer temperatures in Western Australia could rise by up to 6.5 degrees,[i] with even higher extremes. Bushfires and drought will increase, rainfall will continue to reduce in the populated south west, agriculture will decline, heat stress deaths will increase, among many other devastating impacts.[ii]

Our view is based on the scientifically robust carbon budget framework. On this basis, most existing fossil fuel reserves must remain unburned. Any new fossil fuel development is incompatible with the goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement that aims to hold the rise in global temperature to well below 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue every effort to limit the rise to 1.5°C.[iii]

Unconventional gas resources in Western Australia are one of the largest unexploited potential sources of carbon in the world. [iv] Opening these to exploitation would, in our view, be grossly irresponsible given urgency of the climate situation.

As scientists and experts concerned about the wellbeing of the people of Western Australia and the rest of the world, we strongly urge that that unconventional oil and gas is permanently banned in Western Australia.

[i] Government of Western Australia, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, About Climate Change in WA: WA’s Climate Future, Accesses 21/6/18,…

[ii] Government of Western Australia, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, About Climate Change in WA: Likely Impacts, Accesses 21/6/18,…

[iii] McGlade and Ekins (2015) The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C,

[iv] EIA (2013) Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States,



Professor Fiona Stanley AC, FAA, FASSA, FAAHMS

Distinguished Research Professor, University of Western Australia; Australian of the Year 2003

Professor Tim Flannery

Chief Councillor of the Climate Council

Professor Lesley Hughes

Distinguished Professor of Biology Macquarie University; Climate Council Councillor

Professor Hilary Bambrick

Head of School, Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology

Associate Prof Tilman Ruff AM, FRACP

Nossal Institute for Global Health, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Shauna Murray

Climate Change Cluster (C3), University of Technology, Sydney

Professor Rob Moodie AM

Professor of Public Health University of Melbourne, University of Malawi

Professor John Quiggin

VC Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics, University of Queensland

Adjunct Professor Frank H Talbot AM, FRZS (NSW)

Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University

Professor Rick Cavicchioli

Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of NSW

Professor Will Steffen

Councillor, Climate Council; Climate Scientist, ANU

Associate Professor Malte Meinshausen


Tim Forcey

Energy Advisor; former Gas Principal AEMO; former gas specialist Exxon, Esso BHP, Jemena.

Associate Professor Bayden Wood

Director Centre for Biospectroscopy, Monash University

Adjunct Professor Peter Sainsbury

Sydney Medical School, University of Notre Dame

Ian Dunlop

Former senior executive Royal Dutch Shell; former
Chairman of the Australian Coal Association; former
CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors;
chairman the original Australian Government Greenhouse
Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading

Dr Sue Wareham AOM

President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

Dr Luke Kemp

Senior Economist, Vivid Economics; Honorary Lecturer, Australian National University

Professor Ove Hoegh Guldberg

Professor and Director, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

Dr Will J Grant

Senior Lecturer, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, The Australian National University

Alan Pears AM

Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University

Professor John Church

Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales

Professor Steven Sherwood

ARC Laureate Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, UNSW Climate Change Research Centre

Professor Michael Ashley

Department of Astrophysics, University of New South Wales

Professor David Bowman

Professor of Environmental Change Biology, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania

Professor Ian Lowe

Griffith University

Dr Brett Murphy

Senior Research Fellow, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University

Fiona Armstrong

Founder and Executive Director, Climate and Health Alliance; Westpac / Financial Review 100 Women of Influence (2016)

Dr Peter Dart

Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of


Dr David Holmes

Director, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub

Professor John Wiseman

Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Adjunct Professor, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Professor Andy Pitman

Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, The University of New South Wales

Graeme Pearman AM FAA FTSE

Former Chief, CSIRO Atmospheric Research; Professorial, Fellow, University of Melbourne

Ben Oquist

Executive Director, The Australia Institute


Honorary Senior Fellow, Climate Change Institute, Australian National University

Ellin Lede

Phd Researcher, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK

Dr Bill Hare

CEO and Managing Director/ Senior Scientist, Climate Analytics

Dr Anja Skrobiln

Research Fellow, Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group, University of Melbourne

Professor Philip Jennings BSc (Hons) UWA, PhD Harvard

Emeritus Professor of Physics and Energy Studies, Murdoch University

Professor Katrin Meissner

Director, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW

Professor Malcolm McCulloch FAA FRS

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, The University of Western Australia

Prof Richard J Hobbs

IAS Distinguished Fellow, School of Biological Scien

ces, The University of Western Australia

Professor Hans Lambers FRNAAS, FAA

Emeritus Professor at UWA; Adjunct Professor at Curtin University

Professor Charles Watson

Emeritus John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences, Curtin University

Associate Professor John Bailey BSc, PhD

Emeritus Professor, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University

Professor Bruce Armstrong AM FAA HonMD(UWA)

Adjunct Professor, School of Global and Population Health, UWA; Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Professor Carmen Lawrence

Faculty of Science, School of Psychological Science, UWA; former Premier of Western Australia

Professor Peter Newman AO

John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, School of Design and the Built Environment, Western Australian Scientist of the Year 2018.

Dianne Katscherian

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University

Tim Buckley

Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Bruce Robertson

Investment Analyst, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Dr Richard Denniss

Chief Economist, The Australia Institute


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