NT Traditional Owners and anti-fracking activists score a win

Photo: Borroloola Community Change-Makers / Facebook

Traditional Owners and Territorians fighting to protect land, water and climate from invasive fracking marked a victory on November 10 when Conrad Rory and Lauren Mellor were found not guilty of criminal damage by the Darwin Magistrates Court over a 2019 protest in which Traditional Owners used a bobcat to drill holes on the lawns of NT Parliament.

Mellor said that the verdict showed that “fracking companies, not ordinary Territorians, should be on trial for criminal damage”. She said the court’s decision affirmed “the critical role of civil disobedience and protest in a functioning democracy”.

“While fracking remains law in the NT, it’s a law that every single one of us who cares about the future of our communities and climate will need to break until we achieve a full ban on this dangerous and polluting industry.”

Rory said that the fight is far from over. “As drilling rigs roll over our regions right now, and the NT and federal governments bending over backwards to accommodate dirty fracking companies, it will be the responsibility of all of us to keep fighting for justice and a safe, climate future.”