Divisions in the Northern Territory Labor Party were on show on May 12 as the party’s annual conference voted to ban fracking across the territory, weeks after Chief Minister Michael Gunner lifted a moratorium on the practice. The vote was a vindication for the more than 200 protesters who gathered outside.
Fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves. Mapuche Indigenous communities in the Argentine Patagonian province of Neuquen have denounced fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves, which they claim are contaminating their land and groundwater, killing their livestock.
Hundreds marched down the main street of Katherine in the Northern Territory on April 20 to call for the protection of water, country and culture from fracking gasfields. From Alice Springs to Arnhem Land, pastoralists, Traditional Owners, kids, community, musicians and whip crackers turned out to have their say.
Slick Water: Fracking – and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry Andrew Nikiforuk Greystone Books/David Suzuki Institute 2015, 350 pages The fracturing of rocks to mine more fossil fuels was born with the oil business, writes the Canadian journalist, Andrew Nikiforuk, in Slick Water. During the world’s first oil boom in Pennsylvania in the 1850s, highly volatile nitro-glycerine and other explosives were used on sluggish wells with lethal risk, to turn them into gushers by creating new fractures to channel blocked oil to the surface.
With scores of anti-fracking protesters outside, the Australian Labor Party Northern Territory conference voted on February 13 to approve a moratorium on any development of the fracking industry while critical scientific studies on its impacts are carried out.