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Morrison’s $50 million donation to frackers will lead to few jobs, threaten water

The Morrison Government’s appalling decision to spend $50 million of Australian taxpayers’ cash propping up the polluting gas fracking industry in the Northern Territory will threaten communities and the environment, and will damage other existing, more sustainable industries. 

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the decision by the Morrison Government was “an epic waste of precious public money”.

“What this announcement clearly shows is that fracking the Beetaloo Basin for gas is not economically viable without massive subsidies,” he said.

“Every Australian taxpayer should be utterly outraged by this decision - fracking is expensive, environmentally destructive, and has no future in a zero carbon world.

“The word is moving away from fossil fuels and renewable energy technology is now by far the cheapest, most efficient way to power homes and industry.”

Just yesterday, the European Commission proposed rules to restrict funding for LNG projects and instead funnel cash into low-carbon technologies to meet climate goals.

“Yet the dinosaurs in the Morrison Government remain ideologically in bed with the fracking industry and are choosing to waste public money propping it up,” Mr Sawyer said.

“Put money into any other industry in Australia and you’ll create more jobs. 

“We know from other jurisdictions that when the fracking industry comes to town, it leads to a net decrease in job opportunities because it muscles out other industries and does not create the same jobs as, for example, agriculture.”

When the fracking industry moved into Queensland, nine jobs were lost in the services sector for every 10 new CSG jobs, while 18 agricultural jobs were lost for every 10 people employed in the coal seam gas industry.

“Fracking also carries the serious and probable risk of contaminating and depleting underground water sources that are so vital in a dry country like ours,” Mr Sawyer said.

“To add insult to injury, the Federal Government is paying these companies to frack through our aquifers without waiting for the promised science studies into the groundwater to be completed.

“The Morrison Government can throw as much money as it wants at this destructive industry, but Traditional Owners, farmers, and the broader NT community remain opposed to fracking, and we will not let it threaten our land, water, and environment without a fight.” 

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