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Grinch gives gas industry a sneaky gift before Christmas

Protect Country Alliance has condemned the sneaky - but not surprising - decision by NT Environment Minister and Christmas grinch Eva Lawler to sign off on Origin Energy’s Beetaloo Basin fracking plans just two days before Christmas.

The decision came shortly before it was revealed the NT increased its LNG output by 153 per cent in 2019 to more than 10.5 million tonnes, further proving the Territory has no need to undertake dirty and polluting fracking to find more gas.

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Dan Robins said the timing of the decision was typical of the NT Government, and showed it was trying to avoid scrutiny over its support for fracking.

“Australians are rightly shocked at the Environment Minister’s sneaky Christmas announcement,” he said.

“This was an outrageous and underhanded way of wasting millions of litres of the NT’s water on dirty and dangerous fracking projects in the Beetaloo Basin.

“Origin admits that one fracked gas well can use up to 60 million litres of water. We can no longer allow this kind of insane environmental degradation to take place upon the driest inhabited continent on earth.

“As well, if gas companies like Origin and Santos are not stopped by communities, they will release 22 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere equating to more than 20 years of Australia’s annual emissions.”

Mr Robins said the NT’s precious natural resources shouldn’t be put at risk so massive companies could sell dirty, polluting gas to the highest bidder overseas.

“It is wholly irresponsible to put precious NT water at risk by fracking for gas when the NT is already producing record volumes of gas exports,” he said.

“Fracking the Northern Territory is a dangerous pollution risk, a health risk and unfairly forces Territory pastoralists and remote communities into the fracking sacrifice zone.

“Local communities across the NT are working together to ensure their land and water is not put in the firing line for fracking.

“People across the Territory, Australia, and the world are acutely aware that more fracking for oil and gas will only make the problems of heatwaves, water scarcity and fire danger worse.

“If the Northern Territory is looking to create long lasting jobs for the decade ahead, international projects like solar power exports and world-class tourism will attract investment without the pollution impacts.” 

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