More than 100 people attended a meeting in Alice Springs last night called to discuss concerns over unconventional gas exploration permits that come as close as 75km from Uluru.
The meeting resolved to form a local action group to challenge fracking in the territory.
Gas mining giant Santos has interests in exploration permits covering tens of thousands of square kilometres of the Amadeus Basin south of Alice Springs, which stretch to the border with South Australia and into WA.
Coordinator for Lock the Gate Boudicca Cerese said the plans to look for gas near Uluru demonstrated that the gas industry did not consider anything off limits.
“The problem is that there is a 'drill and frack at all costs' mentality, when the science behind fracking and the laws in place are inadequate to protect the community” Ms Cerese said.
“We simply don’t know enough about the impact on water resources of unconventional gas mining to be taking a risk with fracking.
“And to think that an area of huge cultural significance worth millions of dollars to the tourist industry could face a future as a gasfield is a major concern.
“Uluru itself is now just 75km from the western edge of gas exploration permit number 125".
Ms Cerese said Santos had already had an “incident” at its Mt Kitty operation, around 190km from Uluru when the drill rig toppled over last month.
“Santos has been fined for polluting aquifers in the NSW Pilliga Forest with uranium and other toxins and now it wants to drill across much of central Australia.
“The Alice Springs meeting last night heard that fracking should not proceed until there have been proper scientific assessments, strong regulations put in place and no-go zones created to protect sensitive areas, water resources and important industries such as the tourism and pastoral industries.”
For further information contact: Boudicca Cerese 0431 513 546