Northern Territory Traditional Owners tell Origin to ‘frack off’

A protest by NT Traditional Owners outside Origin Energy's AGM
A protest by Northern Territory Traditional Owners outside Origin Energy's AGM in Sydney on October 16. Photo: Pip Hinman

Northern Territory Traditional Owners delivered a message to Origin Energy that they do not give permission to frack for shale gas, outside the company's AGM in Sydney on October 16.

Nathan Kingsley, Gadrian Hoosan and Dianne Stokes were among the Traditional Owners who said that Origin Energy, one of Australia’s largest energy companies, must ditch its plans to use the dangerous process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract gas from the NT's Beetaloo Basin.

Representatives from the Maritime Union of Australia, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and Doctors for the Environment pledged their support for the anti-fracking campaign.

The Beetaloo Basin is believed to contain around 70% of the NT’s shale gas. Origin, Santos and Pangaea told an NT government inquiry into fracking they are planning up to 1200 wells over the next 25 years.

Labor's NT chief minister Michael Gunner lifted a two-year moratorium on fracking over more than half of the NT in April last year, saying it could be made safe. His position is, unsurprisingly, being supported by federal Coalition Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

Indigenous communities disagree, however, pointing out that a single gasfield in the Beetaloo Basin would jack up Australia's emissions by 6%, just as climate scientists warn that greenhouse gas emissions need to be urgently cut.  

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions last year rose for a fourth year in a row as it overtook Qatar as the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Delegates plan to put an anti-fracking moratorium motion to the NT Labor conference on October 19.

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