A host of landowners from across the Northern Territory have met to brainstorm ways to snuff out the NT Gunner Government’s taxpayer-funded polluting pipeline planned for between Tennant Creek and Middle Arm.
The meeting was held at the Clyde Fenton Multipurpose Hall in Katherine yesterday evening (November 18), and landholder resolved to write a letter to the Chief Minister expressing their concern that they have not yet been consulted about the proposed pipeline.
It comes the day after the NT Gunner Government released tenders for the massive “Gas and Strategic Minerals Precinct for Middle Arm" that would be fuelled by fracked gas taken from the Beetaloo Basin via the Tennant Creek Pipeline.
The decision to release tenders was made despite growing concern from Native Title holders, economists, farmers, and environmental groups over the Gunner Government’s continued use of taxpayer funds to fuel the dirty, polluting and economically unviable fracking industry.
The Gunner Government has already promised $327,140 in public funds to controversial company CNC Project Management to speak to impacted landholders about the 900km fracked gas pipeline.
But CNC has a history of ‘misleading, bullying and threatening’ NSW landholders to get them to sign agreements regarding gas pipelines passing through their properties.
Marie Piccone, the owner of two large mango plantations in the Katherine region attended the meeting and said “I am very keen to find out about any risk assessments that are being undertaken by the Northern Territory Government to ensure that we see no adverse impacts from this proposed fracked gas pipeline.”
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the Territory landholders who attended the Katherine meeting were understandably concerned.
“Farmers are worried their produce will sustain reputational damage if a giant fracked gas pipeline is ploughed through their properties,” he said.
“They are also worried because in the NT, we still do not have laws that protect farmers from third party liability if something goes wrong involving gas company infrastructure.
“Native Title holders along the proposed pipeline route have also raised concerns with the Chief Minister that the pipeline may damage sacred sites in their area.
“We also know the world is quickly moving away from fossil fuels, and there is a serious risk that projects like fracked-gas pipelines will become stranded assets as demand dries up.
“Gas pipelines simply aren’t worth the economic, social, or environmental risk. We should be celebrating and promoting our reputation for producing clean, uncompromised food in the Territory, not putting it at risk for fracked-gas pipelines that are barely economically feasible even with the injection of public funds.”
The proposed pipeline would carry fracked gas through Tennant Creek, Elliott, Newcastle Waters, Daly Waters, Larrimah, Mataranka, Katherine, Pine Creek and all the way to Middle Arm near Darwin.