Media release: Chief Minister’s frack decision a betrayal of science and communities

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                       17 APRIL 2018

Chief Minister’s frack decision a betrayal of science and communities

 Frack-free NT condemns the decision by the Gunner Government today to cave into industry pressure and expose 51% of the Northern Territory to fracking gasfields.

“This decision is a betrayal of the science on the risks of fracking, and Territory communities who have battled for years to protect our land, water and livelihoods from this highly invasive industry,” said Lauren Mellor, spokesperson for Frack-free NT.

“It is a dark day for our democracy when we have had unprecedented participation in the Inquiry into fracking, and tens of thousands of Territorians petitioning, rallying and meeting with government members to express their opposition to fracking, only to have the Gunner Government sell us out to the interests of multinational fracking companies.”

“But we will not take this decision lying down. Communities, landholders and businesses right across the NT have pledged to redouble our efforts until a Territory-wide fracking ban is in place. For us, this is just the beginning.”

Gadrian Hoosan, Borroloola Traditional Owner says: “Our people right through the region where drilling and exploration are planned have been clear – we do not want this industry risks our land, water and culture.”

“Gunner has shown he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the fracking bullies, but we do. This decision locks our communities into ongoing conflict with the gas fracking companies, but we will not back down until there is a complete ban on fracking across the NT.”

Territory tourism operator, Rob Woods, says: “The Gunner Government has sold out our sustainable, successful tourism industry and the thousands of jobs we support on the promise of a few dollars revenue from the gas fracking industry.”

Industrial gasfields and the heavy vehicle traffic it brings to our roads will have an immediate and detrimental impact on the Territory tourism experience, driving down visitor numbers and hurting regional economies. We won’t stand by and let this happen to our iconic tourism areas and our industry.”

Petrena Ariston, a Katherine tourism operator says: “Tourists come to the Top End to experience its pristine areas and fish our clean rivers. Yet the Gunner government has decided to risk all of this by allowing fracking in our water catchment areas that provide farm, stock and drinking water for tens of thousands of Territorians.

“I thought Gunner might be a leader with vision but instead he is repeating the mistakes of his CLP predecessor and taking us down the boom and bust road of big fracking, where companies profit and communities suffer.”

 

For comment or context:

Lauren Mellor, Frack-free NT, 0413 534 125

Rob Woods, Ethical Adventures, 0488 442 269

Petrena Ariston, Top Didj Katherine, 0483 130 712

Gadrian Hoosan, 0484 825 577