Adelaide River, situated in the heart of the spectacular Daly region, will become the first community in the Northern Territory to declare itself gasfield free, following a grassroots community survey of residents in the local area.
This announcement comes in the wake of the Federal Government’s recently released Northern Australia White Paper which lists developing new NT gas resources and linking the Territory’s gas resources with east coast markets as priorities for government.
Adelaide River gasfield free resolution will see it join the more than 350 declared gasfield free towns and communities across Australia working to stop the expansion of the unconventional gas industry in their regions. The results were announced last night at a solar-powered cinema screening of the film ‘Frackman’, which looks at the impacts of the unconventional gas industry on the community of Tara in Queensland’s Darling Downs region.
Adelaide River residents have joined a growing number of communities across the NT expressing opposition to the unchecked expansion of the shale gas industry currently being pushed by NT and Commonwealth governments alike. There is widespread community concern about the impacts of fracking on the Territory’s scarce water resources, iconic natural areas and existing tourism, farming and pastoral industries.
“The Territory tourism industry should be highly alerted to this issue because it’s our whole industry’s future at stake here,” said Sue Witham, owner and operator of the popular Mt Bundy tourism spot and cattle station at Adelaide River.
“There are a lot of enterprises involved in tourism up here that rely on clean water and land to survive. If fracking went ahead our tourism industry would be out of it on the water contamination issue alone, let alone the aesthetics and the pollution risks. The NT Government can make decisions that shut other industry’s down virtually overnight. We don’t want to see tourism in the NT destroyed by fracking,” she concluded.
Vivienne Sobek, another local resident, said: “This survey result has demonstrated it’s the power of the people who make Australia. In our particular instance it’s the power of the people of the Northern Territory – our actions can make or break a government should we choose. Fracking is an issue we will be making that choice on!”
“Fracking and the unconventional gas issue is fast becoming the most important environmental challenge facing the Territory. It is a risk to our water, land, public health and the future of many regional and remote communities now facing a massive expansion of this damaging industry,” said Lauren Mellor of the NT Frack Free Alliance.
“The NT Government appears willing to sacrifice our communities, water catchment areas and even national parks and reserves to the greed of the gas companies with more than 90% of the Territory’s landmass now covered in gas licence applications and approvals.”
“But communities like Adelaide River are standing up and taking action to protect their communities and homes from the threat of fracking. The gasfield free survey is a grassroots initiative which gives all residents a say on whether or not they want unconventional gas mining in their area,” said Ms Mellor
For comment, photographs or to arrange to speak with the Adelaide River residents please contact:
Lauren Mellor, NT Frack Free Alliance on 0413 534 125