Angry Northern Rivers residents this morning converged on the office of Labor candidate for Page Patrick Deegan after his party’s leader announced if elected he would create a $1.5 billion taxpayer-funded loans scheme to prop up fracking pipelines in northern Australia.
The announcement by Bill Shorten on Tuesday has been met with outrage by concerned landholders and communities across the nation, due to fears a supercharged fracking industry in Australia would create a massive carbon footprint, and cause irreversible damage to the environment.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers welcomed Mr Deegan’s statement to protesters that he did not agree with the ALP policy to spend public money on new fracking gasfields.
“Mr Deegan is aware of the opposition to fracking that exists in the electorate of Page and said he was personally opposed to fracking in other regions across the country,” said Annie Kia, spokesperson for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers.
“However, we need Labor leaders to realise the serious error in making this climate wrecking announcement and back down immediately.
“Encouraging unconventional gasfields would detonate a carbon bomb and stop Australia meeting its carbon targets.
“It flies in the face of the latest science from the IPCC which found that global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees and there should be no new fossil fuel basins developed.
“The funds from Labor are designed to frack open the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory which is one of the largest untapped shale gas basins in the world.
“Labor’s fracking push completely undermines their promises to act on climate change and will stop us meeting our climate targets, putting Australians at risk of more extreme weather and threatening our livelihoods.
“At a time when even the World Bank has called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies it beggars belief that Federal Labor are going to bankroll the gas fracking industry with public funds.
“This money should be spent on building a positive, renewable future for Australia, and Federal Labor should heed community opposition and reallocate the funds to support our manufacturers to switch from dirty, polluting gas to renewables.
“We stand with communities in Queensland and Northern Territory who have called for governments to ban fracking, particularly with remote Indigenous communities who have said they don’t want fracking on their country."