Community unites to say Never Never frack Mataranka: survey results show

Community unites to say Never Never frack Mataranka: survey results show

A community led survey of the iconic Mataranka thermal springs region in the Northern Territory has shown that over 90% of local residents want the area to be gasfield-free.

Station owners, farmers, tourism operators and local residents undertook the survey that shows overwhelmingly the region is united in the call to be gasfield free. Tonight they are celebrating the results at the Mataranka Homestead.

The results come just days after a visit to the Top End by billionaire miner Gina Rinehart, spruiking the Northern Territory as a welcome destination for onshore gas. Her company Jacaranda Minerals holds the exploration licences for gas fracking over the Roper River and water recharge area for the iconic hot springs.

Last year, the Giles Government approved onshore fracking exploration licences in the region.

“We’re disappointed Gina didn’t have the guts to come down and face the communities she is planning to frack over,” said Mataranka resident Kim Eishold.

“This survey proves that our community will never, never allow fracking in the historic Never Never region.”

“The waterways around Mataranka and Bitter Springs are the lifeblood of our tourism businesses,” said Deb Moore, owner of the Mataranka Homestead tourism resort.

“Why would we even contemplate the risk of gasfields here? No money is worth the risk to our businesses and the region. If there is even the smallest percent chance of ruining the water here in Mataranka, you simply wouldn’t do it, it’s too important,” she said.

“This survey shows the industry has no social licence. We want the Government to listen and revoke the fracking permits over our region,” concluded Moore.

World record whip cracking legend and Mataranka local Nathan Griggs said, “It’s good to see proof of what we already knew, that pretty much everyone in the Mataranka area is united against fracking here.”

Candidates for the seat of Arnhem in the upcoming NT elections will attend a BBQ celebration at the homestead tonight to hear first hand the concerns of locals and their call for permanent protection from the threat of fracking gasfields.

Gasfield-free surveys have previously been completed in the Coomalie region, and are underway in the Katherine rural area and Alice Springs.

To organise interviews with local residents, contact Lauren Mellor, NT Frack Free Alliance, 0413 534 125