Don’t frack the Northern Territory

Photo: Peter Robson

Delegates arriving at the Australia-China Minerals Investment Summit in Darwin on May 17 were met with about 20 protesters. The group had a strong message for those going into the convention centre: “Stop uranium mining, lock the gates on shale oil and gas, go solar!”

The summit was organised by the Northern Territory and South Australian governments. The summit’s website boasts “both governments are pro-development” and NT Chief Minister Adam Giles has made it clear the Territory is “open for business” to polluting mining companies

But the newly-formed group Don’t Frack the Territory, along with the Anti-Nuclear NT collective and Environment Centre NT, organised the protest to highlight the risks that uranium and unconventional gas extraction pose to the precious environmental and cultural heritage of the NT.

The shale gas industry has 90% of the NT in its sights – including fragile coastlines, national parks and all of Arnhem Land. But public awareness about the dangers of fracking is growing thanks to strong campaign against coal seam gas on the east coast and damaging reports coming from the US and Europe.

Don’t Frack the Territory plans to build a strong campaign against the shale gas industry. In spite of the chief minister’s promise, protesters pledge to make business difficult for any resource companies trying to mess with this part of the country.