Fracking is safe, says Australia’s top science advisor

The nation’s top scientific advisor to government says hydraulic fracturing, when properly regulated, is safe.

Dr Alan Finkel, who was recently appointed Chief Scientist, told ABC Lateline on 27 October that: “…there is a lot of evidence that fracking is safe.”

“It’s being used widely already in the coal seam gas fields, particularly in Queensland,” he said.

“It’s being used widely across America.

“The evidence is not there that it’s dangerous. In fact, the evidence is that, if properly regulated, it’s completely safe.”

Dr Finkel is President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, which participated in the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) review of shale gas in Australia in 2012.

The ACOLA report, peer-reviewed by the CSIRO, found:  “The evidence suggests that, provided appropriate monitoring programs are undertaken and a robust and transparent regulatory regime put in place (and enforced), there will be a low risk that shale gas production will result in contamination of aquifers, surface waters or the air, or that damaging induced seismicity will occur.”

A transcript of Dr Finkel’s full Lateline interview can be found at this link.