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Origin’s fact-free and full of spin fracking PR farce falls flat

Gas fracking company Origin is attempting to salvage the image of its controversial and contested Beetaloo fracking project by launching a public relations campaign that “would be laughable if it wasn’t fracking with people’s land and lives,” according to Protect Country Alliance.

Origin claims to use ‘facts’ to garner public support for its dangerous drilling operations in the NT - but the facts on the ground speak for themselves, said spokesperson Lauren Mellor.

“Despite what the company claims, there are numerous examples of where its gas exploration activities have gone terribly wrong. Company whistleblowers 1.landholders hosting Origin’s activities, and evidence of actual harm all attest to the dangers of its Beetaloo fracking proposal.”

“In 2010 Origin admitted it was responsible for a frack up when dangerous BTEX - a mixture of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene - chemicals were spilled into the environment and farmers’ water sources were contaminated in Queensland.

“Origin’s PR claims are easily refuted by actual evidence.

“As local and national opposition to its fracking plans mount the company knows its image is in real trouble, and is attempting to salvage that with a glossy but fact-free spin campaign.

“But Origin can’t hide from the fact that Beetaloo region pastoralists and Native Title holders are on the record saying they have not been consulted, or consented to, its fracking plans.” 

Newcastle Waters Native Title Holder and Mudburra Traditional Owner Ray Dixon said, “Origin is not doing the right thing with Traditional Owners - it’s bypassing proper consultation and being disrespectful and dishonest in its dealings with our communities, and now its customers.

“What’s going to happen to our land and for the future? Origin are starting to frack right through wet season just upstream of us. Origin is not going to fix our water if they leave us with a problem. We’re the ones who will suffer.” 

Ms Mellor said, “Origin can’t spin its way out of its corporate image problems. That requires real consultation, genuine engagement with communities and to act on the science showing harm from fracking activities.”

“Origin must end this furphy of a fracking PR campaign and end its plans to frack the Territory.”

A copy of a shareholder information booklet challenging Origin’s claims about its Beetaloo fracking project, distributed by concerned shareholders and Traditional Owners at its recent company AGM, is here.

1. Statement of Claim - Form 17 - Rule 8.06(1)(a) File Number: VID920/2015 File Title: Sally McDow v Origin Energy Limited Registry: QUEENSLAND REGISTRY - FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

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