Frack Free NT Newsletter July-August

Dear Frack Free NT supporters,

The Frack Free team has been busy across the Territory visiting the Arnhem Land communities of Maningrida and Gunbalanya in early August for a series of educational visits and activities with young people, Rangers and community residents on the threat to healthy land and seas from proposed on and offshore oil and gas fracking.

In July the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance (CAFFA) hosted sold out screenings of the Frackman alongside a visit from star of the film Dayne Pratsky in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.

The Frackman loved the Territory so much Dayne plans to return as a guest speaker at the September 15 Our Land is Our Life rally against fracking at NT Parliament!

The big march for clean water, healthy country and strong communities is just over a month away so make sure you speak with your community, neighbours or family about sending a delegation to participate and put the NT Government on notice that fracking plans across the Territory must be abandoned and clean energy policies put in place to protect land, water and futures.

Ask your organisation to endorse the event, and to donate and help delegations from bush communities get into Darwin for Our Land is Our Life please get in contact!

Yours,

The Frack Free NT team

frackfreent@gmail.com

Upcoming Events

Sat 22 August: Our Land is Our Life planning meeting, working bee and lunchtime BBQ, meet and greet the frack free team in Darwin and get creative with banners, signs and posters for the march. From 10am – 1pm on Nightcliff Rd, text 0413 534 125 for location and details.

Sun 6 September: Join us from 12 – 7pm at the Frack free campaign stall at the Mahbilil Festival in Jabiru to talk about fracking proposals in Arnhem Land. Some great musicians performing too. Catch some great bands too including West Arnhem Boss, The Bininj Band, Sunrize, David Dingala, Narbalek, Reggae Dave and Leah Flanagan. Get in touch beforehand to catch a lift out.

Mon 14 September: Pre-rally planning meeting from 6pm. Gasfield-free delegations to gather at the Adelaide River Showgrounds for camping, live music and short films prior to the Our Land is Our Life rally.

Tues 15 September: Our Land is Our Life rally, marching on foot and horseback from Civic Park, upper Smith St Darwin, from 10am to NT Parliament to deliver a series of gasfield free statements from communities, land trusts and pastoral stations calling for an end to fracking in the NT.

Tues 15 September: Coomalie Shire Council meeting will table and discuss the results of the gasfield-free community survey. Come along and voice your support for a gasfield free Coomalie region. Meeting starts 6pm at the Coomalie Shire Council office, Batchelor.

Our Land is Our Life: Not for Sale and Not for Sacrifice

Sept 15 march on NT Parliament

The Territory is bailing up on fracking! On September 15 communities, landholders, farmers and pastoralists are uniting and bailing up on greedy gas companies and reckless governments that promote fracking for oil and gas, threatening our land, water, health and way of life.

Join us in a march on foot or on horseback to NT Parliament with a strong gasfield-free message from your community, station or homeland.

We march from Civic Park, Smith St at 10am Tuesday September 15 to NT Parliament.

We are demanding:

-A moratorium on all shale gas development

-Protect our water, land and health

-Veto rights in law for all landholders to block invasive gas mining

-A clean energy future for the Territory
Free camping and horse facilities are available at Adelaide River Showground on Dorat Rd. A pre-rally gathering to discuss building the campaign against fracking in the NT will meet at the Adelaide River Showgrounds Clubhouse from 6pm on 14 September followed by live music and films.

Contact Lauren on 0413 534 125 or at frackfreent@gmail.com for more information on how to send a gasfield free statement or delegation from your community or station.

Please join and share the event on Facebook and by email.

Fracking Rally Poster

 

Frack Free Roadshow brings clean country, clean energy message to Arnhem Land

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Maningrida kids show their support for Protect Arnhem Land, clean water and healthy seas

In August Protect Arnhem Land joined forces with the NT Frack Free Alliance on an educational roadshow talking with young people, Elders, Rangers and community organisations in Maningrida and Gunbalanya on the health, cultural and environmental risks of fracking for oil and gas across coastal Arnhem Land.

Arnhem Land is one of the largest and most intact tropical savannah left in the world today, and maintains some of the healthiest shallow tropical seas, yet this ecologically and culturally significant region is under threat from over forty potential petroleum exploration applications across land and sea country with plans to frack for oil and gas.

Eddie Mason, Chair of Protect Arnhem Land said: “The NT Government and gas mining companies have been telling us that fracking will provide jobs and economic benefits to Arnhem Land. But there is no information available to our communities about the problems fracking causes for the environment, our water and to people’s health. If fracking happens here, when it finishes, the mess will be left to us to clean up but we know there is no way to fix our water once it’s poisoned or people once they’re sick.”

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In the NT Traditional Owners can veto resource developments on their land but they do not have any control of the adjoining sea which coastal groups say is as important as the land as a food source and is integral to cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Dr Hilary Tyler, who joined the roadshow on behalf of the NT Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia discussed the known potential health risks of fracking: “Numerous reports have linked fracking to a range of health problems for communities living in proximity to gasfields. Communities need to know about the potential risks of air and water contamination by methane and fracking chemicals. Fracked gas is one of the world’s dirtiest forms of energy with a carbon footprint equivalent to burning coal. Any expansion of new sources of fossil fuels put at risk the long-term health and viability of whole communities in the NT through the impacts of a warming and uninhabitable planet.”

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Thousands of Darwin residents flocked to the Darwin Festival to hear Xavier Rudd and the United Nations on Sunday 9 August.

Well known for his stance against fracking, Xavier gave an impassioned shout out to the tireless work of the Protect Arnhem Land crew who have been battling the dual threat of oil and gas exploration off the coast of Arnhem Land for over four years now.
For more information about the roadshow or to get in contact you can email us at: info@protectarnhemland.org or follow on Facebook and visit our Protect Arnhem Land Website

Artists take on Santos over ‘artwashing’ at the Darwin Festival

sacred land not gaslandsantos

Territory artists take on Santos sponsorship of the Darwin festival

A group of prominent Territory and national artists and creative industries workers have launched an Open Letter to the Darwin Festival calling on organisers to drop a controversial sponsorship deal with gas company Santos in the lead up to the Santos Opening Night event on Aug 6.

While Santos previously only held conventional gas interests in the NT in 2015 it plans to embark on a fracking program in its extensive exploration licenses including the Amadeus Basin south of Alice Springs, putting at risk the town’s only water supply. Santos has not ruled out fracking in these tenements, some of which come as close as 75km to Uluru.

The Open Letter reads in part:

“We understand the pressures on arts and cultural events due to the recent Federal Arts funding changes, but we believe artists can be creative and principled in the funding relationships they choose and do not have to undermine their integrity by promoting the reckless actions of fossil fuel companies like Santos.

We love the Darwin Festival and we don’t want to see its integrity undermined or its good name used as a vehicle for ‘artwashing’ by fossil fuel companies which could do irreparable damage to the beautiful Northern Territory.”

Santos has increasingly come under fire for its sponsorship of arts and cultural events and organisations around Australia, with major protests at Woodford Folk Festival resulting in a public forum during its 2012 event that led to audiences and organisers deciding to drop Santos as a sponsor. Bangarra Dance Company has also dropped Santos in recent years over its poor environmental record.

The Darwin Festival campaign has already had one positive outcome with the iconic Alice Springs Beanie Festival announcing it had rejected Santos sponsorship for this year’s event.

The campaign to encourage Darwin Festival to break with its sponsorship deal with Santos will continue in the lead up to the 2016 event, with clean energy companies already pledging $20,000 in alternative sponsorship and a public forum planned in October to discuss the effects resource sector funds have on the independence of our arts and cultural events.

Read more here.

The Frackman does the NT!

In late July the award winning documentary Frackman screened in Katherine, Tennant Creek & Alice Springs.

Dayne ‘The Frackman’ Pratsky and film producer Trish Lake attended the Alice Springs & Tennant Creek screenings for a Q&A after the film.

The film was a real eye opener about the impacts of the gas industry invasion on the local communities of Tara and Chinchilla, as well as the shocking treatment of landholders by the companies and the QLD Government.

A further screening is planned for Alice Springs in the near future so stay tuned for more details.

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Frackman producer Trish Lake, CAFFA Coordinator Tanya Hall & Dayne Pratsky answer questions from a packed out house after the film.

CAFFA Takes Action Against the Proposed Fracking Pipeline

In July short listed bidder for the $1 billion North East Gas Interconnector Pipeline – Jemena held a road show through the Northern Territory, meeting with local suppliers and associated businesses to discuss their bid for the North East Gas Interconnector pipeline.

The NEGI pipeline will connect the Territory to the east coast gas network, opening avenues for fracked gas from the Territory to be exported overseas, and essentially opening up the NT for the development of the unconventional gas industry.

While the successful proponent for the pipeline won’t be announced until October, Jemena was no doubt trying to get in early to establish a social license and smooth the way if they are successful in winning their bid. Jemena is one of 4 shortlisted companies.

Jemena has announced it’s preferred route for the pipeline is from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa as show in the picture from their newsletter below.

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The pipeline is being touted by the Chief Minister Adam Giles as providing “real jobs in the bush” however when asked about the potential for local employment opportunities from the development of the pipeline, Jemena Community Relations Officer stated that the development would provide up to 90 jobs during the construction phase and only 7 ongoing jobs.

At the Alice Springs leg of the roadshow CAFFA members and the Knitting Nanna’s held a peaceful protest against the development of the North East Gas Interconnector pipeline – we will continue to keep up community opposition to building the pipeline!