Fracking opponents brandishing a giant fake frack well (image attached) and protest signs will greet energy ministers as they arrive in Mparntwe/Alice Springs tomorrow for the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council.
The Central Australian Frack Free Alliance (CAFFA), which has organised the protest, has also written to ministers, inviting them to meet with the local community and Arrernte Custodians so they can hear concerns about Beetaloo fracking.
Earlier this month, the NT Fyles Government gave the go ahead to production level fracking, despite the independent regulator noting numerous fracking inquiry recommendations were incomplete. These include the lack of a water trigger for fracking projects as pointed out by Lingiari Federal MP Marion Scrymgour this week, and unfulfilled climate commitments.
While in Mparntwe, Ministerial Council members are expected to consider how to deal with the vast emissions expected from fracking the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.
CAFFA is calling on Ministerial Council members to ensure recommendation 9.8 of the NT Government’s 2018 fracking inquiry (Pepper Inquiry) is in place before any production licences are granted. This recommendation states that “the NT and Australian governments seek to ensure that there is no net increase in the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions emitted in Australia from any onshore shale gas produced in the NT”.
Scope 2 and 3 emissions from the project were referred to the Ministerial Council following the Federal Labor Government’s agreement with the Greens, which enabled passage of amendments to the Safeguard Mechanism.
“This recommendation, along with others, is still outstanding, despite the NT Government’s recent lies claiming Pepper Inquiry recommendations had been implemented,” said CAFFA spokesperson Heather McIntyre.
“If recommendation 9.8 isn’t implemented in full, then the Territory Government risks igniting a climate bomb that will create as much as 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2-e, equivalent to 70 times the NT's annual emissions.
“We’re particularly hoping Federal Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen will meet with us so we can highlight the misinformation the Fyles Government is providing Territorians, and seek assurance that the Federal Government will step in to stop the NT Government granting production licences to fracking companies.”
Eastern Arrernte Traditional Owner and member of the Strong Grandmothers Group Elaine Peckham said, “We want to meet with these ministers so they can listen to our worries about fracking and its impact on Country, water, and the climate.
“The NT Government hasn’t listened to our voices. We are fed up with their lies and want to make sure the rest of Australia knows what is at stake if fracking in the Beetaloo goes ahead. It will hurt Country in the NT and heat up the world,” she said.