The Northern Gas Pipeline approval today is a terrible outcome for Territorians, and undermines the integrity of the Gunner Government’s fracking inquiry, says the Lock the Gate Alliance.
The Gunner Government has just granted approval for a 622km Northern Gas Pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa, with Minister Ken Vowles issuing the required pipeline permit.
"The pipeline is enabling infrastructure for the fracking industry, which is supposed to be under independent assessment,” said Naomi Hogan of the NT Lock the Gate Alliance.
"The decision also flies in the face of a recent NT Labor Conference resolution, which said the Labor Government would support there being no fracked gas allowed along this pipeline.
"The vast majority of pastoralists, communities and Traditional Owners across the NT do not want their lands and waterways transformed into fracking gasfields, but this pipeline approval risks doing just that.
"Not only will this gas pipeline put our land and water at risk, but it could plug us in to the disastrous gas price hikes on the east coast caused by LNG exports, and drive up domestic gas prices for Territorians.
"We need a water-tight guarantee that this gas pipeline will not lead to new fracking gasfields or rising gas prices for Territory users.
"Gas fracking companies are licking their lips at the prospect of this pipeline assisting them to vacuum more Australian gas offshore and sting domestic users with higher costs.
"There is no long-term benefit from this foreign-owned pipeline to Territorians or local businesses, yet the pain inflicted on our cattle and tourism industries if fracking goes ahead will be immense.
"We’re calling on the Chief Minister to honour the commitment made at the Labor conference and put in place legal rules to prevent this pipeline being used to carry fracked gas or drive gas price hikes once we are joined into the eastern gas market," Ms Hogan said.
Gadrian Hoosan is a Traditional Owner from the Gulf region of the Northern Territory. His traditional lands are being targeted with fracking exploration licences.
"We are going to continue to do everything we can to make sure fracking gasfields do not destroy our country and our waterways," said Mr Hoosan.
"We will fight to be gasfield free - and we will win.
"We will not allow our traditional country to be a sacrifice zone for fracking, while the gas industry profits at our expense," he said.