Frackman

In outback Australia a battle is brewing, "the people of Western Australia need to stand up."

On one side is our gas industry. On the other - Dayne Pratzky, AKA Frackman. "One day a guy drove down my driveway and said - I'm from Queensland Gas Company, we're going to sink a well down the back of your place and if you don't like it, there's nothing you can do about it."

Since that day, the 'accidental activist' from rural Queensland has dedicated his life to stopping one of the industry's most controversial practices - hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting a combination of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high-pressure to fracture the rock to release more natural gas, which is then sold into either the domestic or export market. But critics like Dayne are convinced the process causes gas to leak from the earth - making nearby residents sick, polluting local waterways and causing local property prices to plummet.

Dayne is touring the country with his documentary Frackman and believes Western Australia is at risk. "You have plenty of offshore gas reserves; we don't need to develop these onshore reserves for profit for companies that are offshore companies."

Stedman Ellis from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association says fracking has already taken place on a smaller scale in WA for fifty years, without incident. "There's no record of water contamination and that's consistent with all the credible scientific studies into hydraulic fracturing." According to Stedman, its early days, with more exploration needed to determine if onshore gas has a commercial future here. "If we can find economic quantities of gas onshore, it has the potential to both stimulate regional towns, put downward pressure on gas prices in the state and deliver revenue to the state government."

As for Dayne, he believes there's no place for onshore gas production - and warns West Australians not be complacent - a warning industry reckon is simply fear-mongering. "It's no use sitting back and thinking this is somebody else's problem."

www.frackmanthemovie.com