The announcement by Chief Minister Michael Gunner this morning of a limited fracking moratorium falls far short of his election promises and will allow extensive shale gas activities and corehole drilling to continue across the Territory, said Lock the Gate Alliance.
Before the election, Territory Labor had a fracking policy that said: Territory Labor will implement a moratorium covering all unconventional gas prospecting exploration and extraction activities.
Now, after the first cabinet meeting of the new Labor Government, the promise has been wound back to a moratorium that only covers the process of hydraulic fracturing, giving a green light to all prospecting and other shale gas exploration activities.
"It's now clear that Territory Labor has backflipped on their election promise for a total pause on all unconventional gas activities," said Naomi Hogan of the NT Lock the Gate Alliance.
"This barely-there fracking moratorium is a betrayal to all the people that voted for Labor because they had promised a full pause on the gas fracking industry in the Territory.
"Chief Minister Gunner's backflip means that pastoralists and farmers across the Territory will still have to deal with gas fracking companies pushing onto their land to clear for seismic surveys and core hole drilling.
"Territory landholders have been crying out for a break from gas fracking companies, but Chief Minister Gunner is basically forcing pastoralists to continue to deal with gas companies entering their land.
"The Chief Minister promised to govern for all Territorians, but by breaking this promise so early in his term, he is governing for big oil and gas, not the people who voted him into office.
"Under this so called moratorium, gas fracking companies can still undertake other shale gas prospecting and exploration activities, trying to muscle in on the right to frack through our groundwater into the future.
"Gas companies will be able to keep on drilling gas wells across the landscape, ready to frack as soon as the opportunity arises.
"Origin will be also be allowed to continue their current gas fracking related activities until at least November, with Labor giving in to the oil and gas giants,” she said.