For years, gas companies have been eyeing the Beetaloo Sub-basin, 500 kilometres south-east of Darwin, in the Northern Territory. Now, a compliant NT Labor administration, working hand in glove with the federal Coalition government, has emboldened them to step up production, despite widespread objections, writes Pip Hinman.
The Northern Territory Labor government was swept into power in 2016 promising a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. However, with the lifting of the moratorium in April, the NT government is now moving to open up 51% of the Territory to the risky and highly controversial practice.
Northern Territory Traditional Owners delivered a strong message to Origin Energy's shareholders on October 17.
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.
The Australia Institute says developing the Northern Territory's shale oil and gas resources would release an extra 34 billion tonnes of carbon, 60 times Australia's current annual carbon pollution.
A powerful gathering of Indigenous leaders and community members from across the Northern Territory marched together in the remote town of Elliott on October 7.
The gathering — Kudij Karrilyi: Stand Strong for Country — pledged to ensure the region’s land, water and culture are kept strong and healthy for future generations to enjoy.
They were there to highlight the underground and surface water connections in the Beetaloo gas basin, an area spanning about one-third of the Northern Territory, which has been targeted for hydraulic fracturing gasfield development.
Some 50 people rallied outside the Northern Territory Labor Party conference on March 25 to demand NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner keep his promise to ban fracking in the territory.
The Labor government came into power in the NT in a landslide on August 27. Among the many promises Labor made was a commitment to a moratorium on hydraulic fracking until the process is proven to be safe.
New laws to legalise abortions were passed by the Northern Territory parliament on March 21. The bill passed by 20 votes to four after a lengthy and emotional debate.
The new laws mean the NT joins the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania in decriminalising abortion and stands in stark contrast to NSW and Queensland, which have Australia’s most restrictive abortion legislation.