The NT Gunner Government’s decision to sacrifice an area of land bigger than Belgium to the fracking industry is stupid at a time when the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is so great, according to Protect Country Alliance.
Territory Mines Minister Nicole Manison announced today during a presentation at the APPEA oil and gas love-in that the NT Government would release 30,780 square kilometres of land north east of Alice Springs for petroleum exploration.
The size of land released is just slightly larger than the European nation of Belgium, which is 30,689 km².
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said releasing new tenements for oil and gas fracking was the opposite of what needed to be done to combat global warming.
“The NT Gunner Government is pouring petrol on a burning house,” he said.
“It is farcical this government claims to be acting to combat climate change, which will adversely impact Territorians more than those living in other parts of Australia, while at the same time swinging the gate wide open for fracking companies.
“The conservative International Energy Agency only recently told the world that we cannot open new oil and gasfields if we want to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. Either Gunner Government ministers weren’t listening, or they don’t care.”
Central Australia frack free alliance spokesperson Hannah Ekin said the land release would create uncertainty and anxiety for communities in the area.
“It’s out of sight, out of mind for Michael Gunner and Nicole Manison in their cushy Darwin homes, but this is a nightmare for many people who live in the area covered by this mammoth land release.
“People living in this region have already suffered due to fracking, with a failed shallow frack occuring in 2012. At that time there was a sudden influx of truck movements with poor consultation, and a chemical spill in 2014. Locals are no strangers to the impacts of fracking and will no doubt be dismayed to learn they are up against this insidious industry once again.
“As we have already seen further north, fracking companies will be met with resistance as they try to force their way onto land.
“Through this announcement today, the NT Gunner Government is demonstrating clearly that it doesn’t care about global warming, or the threat fracking poses to communities and the water they rely on.”