Chief Minister Giles must rein in spending on risky shale gas industry

Frack Free NT Media Release

7 October 2015

Calls for Giles to rein in public asset spending on risky shale gas industry

The Frack Free Alliance has today condemned Giles’ commitment that funds from the unpopular sale of a prized public asset will be used to develop an even more unpopular and uneconomic fracked gas industry.

Giles made the commitment of a further $200 million from TIO sales funds to be pledged for use on major gas infrastructure projects including the NEGI pipeline at NT Major Projects conference in Darwin.

The controversial pipeline proposal would drive development of vast swathes of the northern territory to fracking and gasfield industrialisation, with domestic gas prices driven up on export markets and profits disappearing overseas.

Opposition Leader Gunner pledged his support to the project despite a clear NT Labor stance supporting a fracking moratorium.

“Giles is playing hero to a desperate gas industry, spending public funds like a drunken sailor to Develop the North through risky unconventional gas,” said Naomi Hogan of the Frack Free NT Alliance.

“The pipeline risks being expensive and obsolete infrastructure to a failed export gas industry which is not providing return on investment.”

“Resource analysts are predicting that even conventional gas terminals like Inpex are unlikely to turn a profit by the time they come online due to continued depressed gas prices.”

“Instead of following suit, Gunner needs to stick to his party’s frack free guns and put the brakes on this unconventional industry by blocking development of the pipeline.”

APPEA’s recent report clearly outlines the NT shale gas industry is reliant on the development of a pipeline to feed the East Coast LNG export terminals with NT gas. The pipeline is designed for unpopular fracked shale gas,” she said.

Major companies in charge of two of the most advanced gas operations in the Territory are already in financial strife. Santos has bundled its onshore NT gas assets for sale and Origin is calling for a freeze on their share trading.

Even the Reserve Bank of Australia has warned the LNG industry has little to offer Australians due to the, “low employment intensity of LNG production, the high level of foreign ownership of the LNG industry and, in the near term, the use of deductions on taxation payments.”

“The Frack Free Alliance is calling for a commitment that no public funds will be used to prop up or promote this unviable and unsafe fracking industry,” stated Ms Hogan.

*On November 16 a delegation of landholders and industry groups will be travelling to the next sitting of NT Parliament to call on the NT Government to abandon support for an unconventional gas industry that risks the viability of our cattle, tourism and food growing sectors.

For interview, contact:

Naomi Hogan, Frack Free NT, 0401 650 411

Tanya Hall, Central Australian Frack Free Alliance, 0409 886 129