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.
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.
More than 600 activists rallied here on April 22 to condemn Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s announcement that fracking would go ahead in the NT despite his election promise of a 5-year moratorium.
The Gunner Labor government was elected in 2016, partly on the promise to hold back on fracking which would open 51% of the NT to the controversial process of mining gas via hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Northern Territory parliament in Darwin on April 18 to protest the Labor government’s decision, announced the day before, to lift the ban on fracking. Another protest is planned for April 22.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced the onshore ban on fracking would be lifted following the tabling of an independent report which concluded that the risks associated with the hydraulic fracturing of gas could be “managed” and “regulated”.