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Origin fracking plans put cart before the horse, as water regulation falls short

Protect Country Alliance has called on the NT Government not to approve the 12 new fracking wells proposed by Origin Energy in an Environmental Management Plan placed on public exhibition 12th July, due to the threats to groundwater and the inadequate controls and monitoring in place to protect it

Graeme Sawyer from Protect Country Alliance said “It’s a huge worry to see Origin Energy pushing ahead with 12 new fracking wells despite new evidence that the NT Government is failing to implement proper water management controls or monitoring of fracking.

“The NT Government is pushing forward on water allocation plans despite the fact that scientific modelling of groundwater in the Roper Gulf area has still not been completed.

“They’re also pushing ahead before the Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) recommended by the Fracking Inquiry has been done.

“By trying to ram through water allocation plans and approve more exploratory fracking this Government risks draining groundwater and putting Territory rivers at risk.

“The NT Government has also failed to put proper safeguards in place to monitor fracking activities to ensure it’s not causing pollution. Specifically the “early warning system” as specified by the pepper inquiry as “essential” and before any further exploration has not been properly implemented. 

“Recent responses from the NT Government show they are refusing to release monitoring data from gas companies in real time as they are required to do, including the data from Origin wells.

“Regulation of fracking in the Territory is a mess and it is Territorians who stand to lose most if our water supplies are not protected”.

“The Pepper Fracking Inquiry said we needed a final risk assessment when the SREBA research was completed.  We urgently need this assessment before any further approvals are provided as there are problems with groundwater monitoring already and these need to be explained” he said

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