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Gunner bills Territory taxpayers again to subsidise fracking industry

Protect Country Alliance has slammed the Gunner Territory Government’s decision to bill taxpayers nearly $12 million as part of skyrocketing subsidies being handed out to the fracking industry.

Just yesterday, The Australia Institute revealed about $94 million in public funds had been spent over the past decade by NT Governments propping up the destructive, economically unviable industry.

“The Territory Gunner Government is spending taxpayers’ cash like a drunken sailor, with huge chunks of it going to the polluting fracking industry,” said Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Dan Robins.

“Taxpayers are literally being billed to pay for the destruction of their own land and water, and they’re unlikely to ever see any benefit from it.

“The Territory economy is in the doldrums, and this is absolutely not the way to bring the budget back into the black. 

“Given the coronavirus pandemic will hit big NT industries like tourism and agriculture hard, the NT Government should immediately redirect gas industry assistance to industries that actually deliver for Territorians. 

“We urge the Gunner Government to invest in cheaper, more affordable renewable energy technology that won’t threaten land, water, and communities, as well as tourism and agriculture.

“The Territory economy doesn’t need a subsidised gas industry that divides communities and poses risks to the environment."

The $11.79 million announcement for “the development of an onshore gas industry in the Territory to progress the Strategic Regional Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA)” was made today as part of the Territory Government’s March Quarterly Financial Report.

However, Mr Robins said the SREBA had been heavily criticised by health experts for its inability to meet its stated purpose of protecting the health and wellbeing of residents of the Northern Territory impacted by shale gas mining developments.

"The SREBA wouldn't be needed in the first place if this government did the right thing and walked away from the expensive and polluting fracking industry," he said.

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