A No New Gas Coalition has just formed to stop the Northern Territory Labor government’s decision to allow fracking for gas in the Beetaloo Basin. “The science is clear: there is no room for new gas projects”, it said.
The coalition includes Australian Parents for Climate Action, Frack Free NT, Environment Centre NT, Climate Action Darwin and unionists. It says the threat of imminent fracking, as well as the proposed expansion of offshore gas and onshore processing, needs a united community response.
Stopping the expansion of gas in the NT is “a major challenge, but it’s an important one — we’re working to ensure a just and liveable future,” the NNGC said. The Coalition meets every fortnight in Darwin: it organises with working groups volunteering to take on tasks, such as door knocking, community outreach, banner painting, and event organising. We aim to build community capacity to oppose all new gas projects in the Northern Territory.”
Environment Centre NT activists Bree Ahrens and Naish Gawen told Green Left on August 15 that NT is “at the forefront of gas expansion in Australia. The Top End is a ‘sacrifice zone’ for the fossil fuel industry in this country.
“Community frustration against gas is bubbling over here. Survey after survey shows community opposition to fracking,” Ahrens said.
“A convoy of NT doctors and parents converged on [parliament in] Canberra recently to appeal to Labor to withdraw its $1.5 billion subsidy to the Middle Arm project, on account of its significant impacts on public health and the climate.
“There has been lots of solidarity for the NT movement against gas expansion from environment groups and the community down South.”
Gawen said the Middle Arm development is an industrial hub on Darwin Harbour being pushed by NT Labor. “Two LNG facilities already exist there, but the plans would lead to the clearing of another 1500 hectares for the construction of fossil fuel industries, including the processing plant of company Tamboran for its fracked Beetaloo gas.”
“Love Darwin Harbour, Don’t F**k it up!” has been formed, backed by the ECNT, to involve more people in the campaign against the Middle Arm petrochemical zone. A postcard campaign to NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles has been initiated.
“The Harbour is vast and vibrant, at 50 kilometres long with three large arms that are swept daily by racing eight-metre tides. The shoreline is bustling with the most diverse mangrove forest in the North, supporting a resilient mud crab and barramundi fishery. Beneath the waves, seagrass meadows support herds of dugongs and coral reefs host schools of golden snapper and mulloway,” the campaign notes.
It says Darwin Harbour has had many challenges, but “even greater” ones are brewing.
“Polluting ammonia, methanol, urea and plastics factories, combined with ever-expanding gas refineries is not what we need in Darwin Harbour.”