Much of the debate around fracking centres on the very legitimate concerns about its effects on water, air quality, food safety and public health, and its implications for driving climate change. Less is said about the social effects the unconventional gas extraction industry brings to the usually small rural communities where fracking proliferates.

Contrary to the industry's claims, unconventional gas developments greatly undermine the quality of life in rural communities. The supports required by large scale industrial development - the influx of FIFO workers, high volumes heavy vehicle traffic, the noise and upheaval - bring additional costs to communities and, in some ways more importantly, social consequences that endure long after the drillers have upped stumps and moved on to greener pastures.