The Lock the Gate Alliance, partnering with the Environment Centre NT, has recently conducted community meetings and screenings of its latest movie “Fractured Country” in the Top End following invitations from concerned Territorians. Fractured Country provides a powerful summary of impacts to communities forced to live in unconventional gasfields.
“People were very surprised that they had not been made aware of the serious impacts of fracking in the NT, or that 90% of the Territory is covered by petroleum exploration applications,” said National Co-ordinator for Lock the Gate Alliance, Phil Laird.
“Time and time again we heard that people were being told that Shale gas and fracking was not like the ‘nasty’ CSG industry that people were up in arms about on the East Coast.”
These comments came as government information sessions throughout the NT had left people thinking Shale Gas was a benign presence. They were under the illusion that the industry would just consist of one or two wells, not the fully blown gasfield typical of shale gas in the United States and depicted in the movie Gaslands.
“For people on the east coast these comments are déjà vu. Many can remember the CSG proponents saying ‘Don’t worry about the CSG industry, it’s not that nasty Shale Gas and fracking in the movie Gaslands from the United States’,” he said.
Communities around Darwin and Katherine concerned about impacts to their groundwater, surrounding environment and lifestyle attended the Lock the Gate meetings and film screenings.
“Locals are keen to get better informed and organised to protect their communities from this invasive industry,” said Don’t Frack the Territory campaigner Emma Murphy.
“In a state that is dependent on groundwater and then swamped by flooding in the wet season Shale Gas drilling and fracking operations have huge potential to contaminate ground and surface water in the region.”
“It is important for individuals and communities to get independent information rather than accept the industry spin provided by the main beneficiaries, the gas companies and the Territory Government.”