Last night the Alice Springs Convention Centre was abuzz with hundreds of participants having a say on the future of shale gas fracking in the Northern Territory.
250 people were counted attending the first community meeting hosted by the Fracking Inquiry Scientific Panel, with standing room only at the back of the room.
99% of the people in the room voted in support of a ban on fracking, as hundreds of hands shot up in response to the question put by one community participant. Only a couple of known representatives of the gas industry kept their hands by their sides.
Testing support for a ban on fracking was in response to Chief Minister Gunner saying that at the end of this Inquiry, the Government would either ban fracking or allow it to proceed in tightly regulated areas.
Local business owner Marli Banks participated in the event as a member of the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance.
"It was very encouraging to see the amount of community participation taking place across the room.
"Every table reported back with clear concerns about the negative impacts of the shale gas fracking industry and suggestions for the scope of the Issues Paper to be expanded.
"There was overwhelming support to protect Central Australia and the Northern Territory from shale gas fracking.
"Australian scientists have estimated that thousands of shale gas wells could be drilled and fracked across the Central Australian Armadeus Basin.
"Participants showed they simply do not believe that any supposed benefits outweigh the very real risks to our water supply if we let shale gas fracking go ahead," she said.