Origin Energy’s decision to abandon fracking plans in the Northern Territory, QLD’s Lake Eyre Basin, and WA’s Kimberley region is testament to the effectiveness of a grassroots campaign led by Traditional Owners who refused to accept the company’s attempts to destroy land and water.
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the company’s decision wasn’t surprising, given the unrelenting opposition to fracking from the Territory community.
“Territorians have never supported fracking, and Origin’s decision to sell off its tenements shows that finally, after many years of us trying to tell them this, they’ve finally listened.
“However, we remain concerned that Origin has sold its tenements to Tamboran - a company that refused to even attend the Senate Inquiry into fracking in the Territory.
“The fact they are making huge losses in the Beetaloo is a testament to the difficulties of developing this basin. It is an economic disaster as well as an environmental one. This will serve as a warning to others thinking the Beetaloo can be made into a viable gas precinct.
“What Origin’s decision also shows is there is no money to be made in fracking the Territory - companies like Origin don’t make these decisions to be environmentally or socially friendly - and we hope Tamboran, as well as other companies active in the Territory soon come to the same conclusion and pack their bags.”
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Ellen Roberts said Origin’s decision reflected the broader financial shift away from fossil fuel projects.
“Origin has suffered relentless reputational damage over its fracking projects, including in the Northern Territory. They’ve faced pressure from their investors, staff and Origin customers who want to see investment decisions in line with a safe climate,” she said.
“This reflects the shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy and climate action as investors and energy customers increasingly demand companies align with the Paris Agreement.
“It’s also hugely encouraging to see Origin abandon exploration tenements in the Channel Country floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin in Queensland, and in WA’s Kimberley region.
“But it’s extremely disappointing that Origin plans to proceed with its APLNG project, which includes plans to drill 7,700 new coal seam gas wells north of Roma and in Queensland’s Central Highlands, including on the border of the world-renowned Carnarvon National Park.
“If Origin was serious about its climate targets and its environmental responsibilities, it would abandon these projects too.”