Heat on Fracking Gasfield Inquiry in the Territory

19 October 2016
Media Release

Keeping Up The Heat on Fracking Gasfields – Hundreds at NT Parliament

Over 200 Darwin residents spent their lunch hour yesterday gathered in the heat outside NT Parliament to send a clear message to the new Gunner Government that backsliding on fracking policy is not acceptable to Territorians.

The growing NT Frack Free community network pledged to work together to ensure the Fracking Inquiry is not a ‘whitewash’ and that the Terms of Reference wording is changed back to what the Labor Government promised before the election.

That would mean the fracking inquiry would make specific mention of assessing all the risks associated with the unconventional gas industry, not just hydraulic fracturing.

“Community members are concerned about the spread of thousands of shale gas wells and the impacts these water hungry gasfields will have on our water supplies, air, public health, existing industries and local economies,” said Darwin business owner ILONA Kanaris.

“It was a huge boost to see hundreds of people standing together to put the Parliament on notice. We expect the NT Government to protect our home that we love, the Northern Territory, from polluting unconventional onshore gasfields,” she said.

The public assembly included union representatives, pastoralists, local businesses, food growers, tourism industry reps and Members of Parliament including Primary Industries Minister Ken Volwes, Environment Minister Lauren Moss, Chansey Paech MLA, Jeff Collins MLA and Independent MLA Yingia Guyula.

“Anything less than the fracking inquiry scope promised by Territory Labor before the NT election is not acceptable to the growing frack free network across the Territory,” said event MC, Lauren Mellor of the Territory Frack Free Alliance.

“The campaign will not cooperate with a sham inquiry and a Terms of Reference that fails to require an assessment of the research papers on unconventional gas industry impacts.

“The NT Labor party took a position to the recent election, endorsed by their party conference, to put a pause on all aspects of unconventional gas prospecting, exploration and extraction. Since being elected this has been watered down.

“We are calling for a restoration of the Labor Government’s stated commitments to enact a full moratorium on all stages of unconventional gas development and for the Labor Government to honour their promise for a fracking inquiry that looks at the risks and impacts of the unconventional gas industry,” she said.