Over 500 unite in Darwin to protect NT from fracking gasfields

Media Release
22 April 2018

Hundreds unite in Darwin in vow to fight fracking

In an outpouring of community sentiment against fracking, over 500 hundred people gathered in Nightcliff today to take a united stand.

The hugely defiant crowd was full of families and long term Territorians, coming together off the back of more gatherings in Alice Springs and Katherine in recent days.

Dozens of statements poured in from representatives of the areas targeted for fracking that couldn’t make it to the gathering in person.

Garawa man from Borroloola Scott McDinny was in Darwin for the event and said:

“Our community has spoken loudly and clearly that we do not want fracking on our lands and through our waterways. We are already dealing with lead poisoning in our water at Borroloola. It’s a disgrace on the NT Government.

“The United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights states that all Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination and autonomy, to clean water, to healthy lives.

“We demand clean water, and together with united Territorians we will ensure that fracking does not take place in our homelands or anywhere in the NT. Water is precious, water is life. We will not allow any more water to become poison.

Tourism operator Rob Woods said:

“The Gunner Government is putting jobs on the line by failing to protect the Northern Territory’s tourism industry from the negative impacts of broad scale fracking gasfields.

“The water pollution and industrialisation of up to half the Northern Territory in fracking gasfields is completely unacceptable. We will challenge this every step of the way.

“Territory visitors and my customers are already reaching out to share their passion for keeping the Northern Territory frack-free – not 49% of the NT – but the whole of the NT protected from risky gasfields.

“We can’t afford to loose visitor numbers to a Stuart Highway clogged with thousands of fracking chemical trucks. We’re worried about our jobs and our industry,” he said.

A representative of the Aboriginal Medical Services Association NT reaffirmed their strong opposition to fracking on health grounds and expressed deep concern that it would be Aboriginal communities bearing the brunt of negative impacts.

The community gathering vowed that the coordinated effort against risky fracking was only just beginning.

Lauren Mellor from Frack-Free NT said:

“The strength and determination in the crowd today was incredible. Territorians don’t trust the Government to control such a polluting industry that has caused so much damage elsewhere.
“We reject having to spend millions of the public’s money on assisting the fracking industry get started in the Northern Territory.

“We’d rather be putting millions into investment to kick start growth and jobs in renewable energy in the NT.

Fracking has been banned in many countries of the world and in regions of North America. There are serious concerns that the NT Government and the onshore gas industry cannot be trusted to properly implement and maintain the 135 recommendations that are supposed to help regulate fracking in the decades ahead.