Frack Free NT Newsletter – June

Dear Frack Free NT supporters,

The campaign to protect land, water and communities from fracking got a big boost in June with Adelaide River residents voting in a grassroots survey to become the first gasfield free community in the NT. They join more than 350 towns and communities across Australia taking similar local action to stop invasive gas mining in their region. Congratulations Adelaide River!

Frackman screenings at the Darwin Deckchair drew strong crowds and shocked local audiences showing the Queensland community of Tara’s experiences living in the centre of a rapidly expanding gasfield.. Get in quick for your tickets to the upcoming Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs screenings.

Big plans are in the works to bring the gasfield free Territory message to the seat of parliament at the next parliamentary sittings in late August with remote and regional communities organising to bring their own gasfield free statements from pastoral stations, farms, businesses, communities and Aboriginal Land Trusts calling on our parliamentarians to abandon support for the unconventional gas sector and stand up for clean water, safe energy and healthy communities.

Proving how out of tune the Federal Government continue to be to the strong nation-wide sentiment against fracking, its recently released Developing the North white paper emphasized more support for the unfettered expansion of the gas industry in Northern Australia and committed $5 million to the proposed east coast gas connector pipeline.

The pipeline proposal risks domestic energy prices rising to meet international market prices and fast-tracking risky fracking projects that would otherwise be economically unviable to develop. Keep an ear out over the coming months for more ways to put a stop to this economic and environmentally damaging proposal.

July is Show season around the Territory and our local groups have plenty of creative and clever ways to challenge the spin of our politicians and the greed of the gas companies so check out ways to get involved in your local area!

And we’re ALWAYS on the look-out for more enthusiastic volunteers who can strengthen the campaign across the NT. Can you help out on a market stall, with graphic design making brochures, banners and art, contacting other supporters, with research projects or organising events or fundraisers? Get in touch!

Yours,

The Frack Free NT team

frackfreent@gmail.com

Adelaide River first town in Territory to vote ‘YES’ to being Gasfield Free

ARcroc_sign (1)

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.

Adelaide River’s resolution received an overwhelmingly positive response with 96.5% of respondents voting to keep the region gasfield free and the town will now 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 on June 21 at a special 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.

Throughout the region there is widespread 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.”

June newsletter_1June newsletter_2

Adelaide River residents celebrate the results of the gasfield free survey at a screening of the film Frackman at Mt Bundy station.

Local resident Vivienne Sobek 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 NT – 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.“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,” said Lauren Mellor of the NT Frack Free Alliance.

“But communities like Adelaide River are standing up and taking action to protect their home 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.

Adelaide River decision in the news!

ABC News on the decision to go gasfield free & CAAMA Radio featuring Sandy May on the survey results.

June newsletter_3June newsletter_4

Adelaide River residents Sandy, Kerrie & Annalise May delivering the survey results to Chief Minister Adam Giles.

Coomalie Shire set to consider fracking moratorium

Residents in other townships of the wider Coomalie region are now undertaking their own gasfield free survey throughout July, with results to be provided to the Coomalie Council to consider a moratorium on fracking, following action by the Katherine and Wagait Beach Shire Councils recently.

Most residents living in the Coomalie Shire rely on bore water for drinking and farming operations and many are concerned about fracking damaging local water supplies, risking nature tourism in the Litchfield National Park and Douglas Daly region, and local farming and pastoral operations.

Petroleum Exploration Licence 255 covers a large area over the Coomalie region including townships, farms and underground aquifers that feed our large flowing tropical rivers.

June newsletter_5

To get involved in undertaking a gasfield free survey in your local area please contact:

Sandy May on 0428 541 220 or email frackfreent@gmail.com

FRACKMAN film comes to Katherine, Tennant Creek & Alice Springs!

After hugely successful screenings in Darwin and Adelaide River this month the award-winning Frackman documentary will be coming to Katherine, Tennant Creek & Alice Springs!

Frackman Screenings

 Katherine Cinema – Friday 24th July. To buy ticket click here

 Alice Springs Cinema – Monday 27th July. To buy tickets click here

 Tennant Creek screening venue and date TBA.

For the Alice Springs screening we are joined by the Frackman himself, Dayne Pratzsky, as well as film producer Trish Lake and a panel of Territory speakers for a Q&A after the film.

 

 To receive updates on the Frackman screenings, NT tour & to purchase tickets email: frackfreecoordinator@gmail.com

 frackman film

When he finds out his property allegedly sits on billions of dollars worth of coal seam gas, Dayne Pratzky becomes an unlikely hero – Frackman – bent on exposing the irreparable damage caused by fracking.

Dayne Pratzky loved the quiet life on his rural block in central Queensland. Then the coal seam gas company arrived, demanding to sink gas wells on his property, and that changed everything. Legally, he couldn’t stop them mining his land, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t fight. And so began a David and Goliath battle against a $200 billion industry.

Following his five-year battle of triumph’s tragedies, love and conflict, reveals the shocking treatment of landholders by some of the most powerful companies in the world. The coal seam gas issue is crossing ideological lines, leaving a peculiar alliance in its wake: farmers and greenies, conservatives and radical activists, rich and poor, old and young. 

Fracking Information Session at Tennant Creek & Deputation to Barkly Regional Council

Central Australian Frack Free Coordinator Tanya Hall travelled to Tennant Creek in June to spread the word about the risks of fracking, the fallacy of the NT Government’s proposed East Coast gas connector fracking pipeline and what people can do to oppose it.

The North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI) pipeline has been granted major project status by the NT Government and the Federal Government recently committed $5 million to it in its Developing the North white paper.

“A pipeline could…provide an opportunity for new suppliers to unlock Australia’s large unconventional gas resources across central and northern Australia, helping to build a more dynamic and secure national energy market.” (Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane)

The Tennant Creek regional economic development committee have been strongly lobbying for the Tennant to Mt Isa route option to be selected for the development of the NEGI Pipeline. However discussion at a community forum held on Wednesday 17 June showed that not everyone is fooled by the purported economic benefits of the pipeline development or the shale gas industry. A majority of community members attending were strongly against the pipeline development and the expansion of the industry and keen to get involved in the NT Frack Free campaign.

Councillor’s on Barkly Regional Council were also keenly interested in hearing of the risks of fracking and of creating a significant stranded asset if the pipeline is pushed ahead without proven gas resources or community support for the industry. There was agreement that more information was needed on the impacts of fracking on community and country and an invitation was extended for CAFFA members to attend more regional forums being held in the coming months. 

Knitting Nannas against Gas (KNAG) tell CM Giles ‘don’t frack with Central Australia!

 A local group of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG) has launched in Alice Springs in June staging a two hour knitting protest outside the office of the NT Chief Minister.

“We are parents and grandparents. However, we are carrying grave concern for the welfare and health of our children, our grandchildren and potential great grandchildren,” KNAG member Margaret Alexander said.

“We have called on Mr Giles to take responsibility and make sure that the ancient and sacred landscape of the NT is respected and preserved for future generations.”

KNAG emerged from an initiative that began in New South Wales in 2012 as a peaceful and productive way for grandmothers to show concern about unconventional gas exploration in the area. KNAG is affiliated with the national Lock the Gate Alliance and has now become a national phenomenon with over 26 groups nation-wide and the numbers continually growing.

“We are outside Adam Giles’ office because we are calling on the Giles Government to put in place a moratorium on shale gas extraction and fracking until it can be proven to be safe for both communities and the environment,” KNAG member Gerda Hawke said.

The Alice Springs KNAG group staged the sit in after writing to Adam Giles to call on him to show responsible leadership and implement a moratorium on the issuing of licenses for shale gas exploration and the use of hydraulic fracturing in the Territory. They are committed to continue to have a weekly presence at his office until a moratorium is established.

June newsletter_6

The group got lots of attention including media coverage from the local ABC. Check out KNAG on Facebook!

KNAG’s get creative at the Alice Springs’ Beanie Festival

 The popular Alice Springs Beanie Festival provided a great opportunity for the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance and KNAG members to get fracking on the radar with Knitting Nanna Margy Alexander placing this entry into the competition. The beanie titled “The Nannalith” got a special mention (runner-up) in the Extreme Conditions Category.

June newsletter_7June newsletter_8

“Nannalith” Beanie and Knitting Nanna Gerda Hawke at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival

Calling all wannabe Knitting Nannas and creative types of all stripes – get crafty this Territory Show season and help spread the word on fracking!

The gas companies and the politicians love to get out and about at a good old fashioned Territory show – and so do we!

Local frack free campaign groups will be holding information stalls at each show, and encouraging everyone to submit entries to all our favourite competitions with a special No Fracking message. Whatever your talent, baking cakes, making art, knitting, raising gas-free heifers.. make sure you get your entry in and the frack free message out loud and clear at one of these upcoming show events:

Alice Springs: 3-4 June the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance will have a stall at the Alice Springs Show to spread the word about the risks of fracking. Come & say hello or you can volunteer to help us on the stall & find out more about fracking. E: Frackfreecoordinator@gmail.com

Darwin: Friday 24th July join the Frack Free Alliance team at the Darwin Show. To get involved contact Lauren on 0413 534 125 or email frackfreent@gmail.com

Katherine: 17-18 July The Don’t Frack Katherine group have upped the ante for country show-goers this year – don’t miss out on the first Territory performance of the amazing Sadies, a local spin-off of the popular QLD anti-corruption and anti-fracking all singing and dancing ladies who’ll be ‘cleaning up the political pigsty’ at the Katherine Show!

Ladies (and Sadies supporters) of all ages invited to join the Territory Sadies for some light-hearted fun! To get involved contact Charmaine on 0488 195 415

June newsletter_9June newsletter_10The QLD Sadies took the former Campbell Newman government’s pro-fracking government to task last year in Queensland with a series of creative and clever musical stunts to tell the gas companies and government to ‘clean up your act!’

Protect Arnhem Land roadshow: No to oil and gas mining

The NT Frack Free Alliance will hit the road (and seas!) from 3-10th of August visiting the remote inland and coastal Arnhem Land communities of Oenpelli, Maningrida and Minjilang (Croker Island).

The roadshow will be jointly hosted by the Maningrida-based Protect Arnhem Land community action group with assistance from local environmental, legal and public health experts.

We will visit with schools, Ranger groups, community organisations and local residents to raise awareness about the risks to Arnhem Land’s unique environment, community health and way of life from hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ and unconventional oil & gas mining on land and seas.

Fracking Threat in Arnhem Land

Arafura Oil and Gas have applied for rights for oil and gas exploration covering large tracts of land around the Maningrida area, up to 90km inland. Paltar Petroleum have applied for an exploration lease covering over 1500km of Arnhem Land coastline (red line area on map).

The area under claim runs from the Coburg Peninsula in the west to the Sir Edward Pellew Island Group in the southeast of Arnhem Land. The claim extends up rivers and estuaries, up to the high water mark. The area outlined in red on the map shows the approximate exploration area.June newsletter_11June newsletter_12

Hunting and fishing still constitute a significant dietary source for people living in Maningrida. The Traditional Owners are very concerned that mining will threaten this food source which will cause physical and cultural damage to their people.

For more information about the roadshow or to get in contact you can email us at: info@protectarnhemland.org

You can also follow us on Facebook or visit our Protect Arnhem Land Website

Make a last minute tax deductible donation or become a regular supporter of the frack free NT campaign!

We need your help to save iconic regions of the Northern Territory that are under threat from fracking: from the tropical wetlands of Arnhem Land to the fragile deserts and gorges of Central Australia, the gas companies want to drill it all. Even the magnificent Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park has a fracking application covering it.

Your once-off or small monthly donation will provide vital funding to prevent environmental damage, improve scientific information and research, and help stop dangerous pollution.

Don’t stand by while our amazing continent is turned into a giant oil and gas industrial zone. Become a donor today and you’ll be doing your bit for pure water, healthy air and clean food.

Donate here!

All the money raised will be used to:

  • Inform regional and remote NT communities and landholders about the impacts of fracking;
  • Support local community groups working to protect our unique and iconic landscapes at risk from fracking, including our National Parks;
  • Translate and share information in local Indigenous languages; and
  • Produce short films and resources about the dangers of fracking for people and the environment.

June newsletter_14June newsletter_15

               Don’t let this……..                                                    become this!

Upcoming Events:

23 July: Coomalie Shire Council deputation and question and answer session with Department of Mines and Energy representative on fracking and the current regulatory framework.

From 6pm at the Coomalie Shire Council office, Batchelor.

Friday 24 July: Katherine Cinema screening of Frackman

Monday 27th July: Alice Springs Cinema screening of Frackman

Territory Show Dates

Friday 17 – Saturday 18 July: Katherine Show

Friday 25 July: Darwin Show

Friday 3 – Saturday 4 July: Alice Springs Show 

August 1: Join us at the Batchelor Linga Longa Festival for an information stall and undertaking gasfield free community surveys with local residents.

August 3-10: Protect Arnhem Land: no oil and gas mining roadshow