Origin Energy’s plans to “divest” from exploratory fracking tenements across the country are an opportunity for the Queensland Palaszczuk Government to make good on its election promises and ban new drilling in the state’s Lake Eyre Basin, says Lock the Gate Alliance.
“The government has a long standing election promise to protect these fragile floodplains from the dirty fracking industry. It must move now to act on that commitment,” said Lock the Gate Alliance QLD Coordinator Ellie Smith.
“One of the key impediments to the Palaszczuk Government achieving its election commitment has now bowed out. The Palaszczuk Government needs to stand up to Santos and other fracking companies eyeing the Lake Eyre Basin and ban new gas fracking permits across this incredibly valuable landscape.
“The Palaszczuk Government must now move quickly to cancel Origin’s leases, rather than leaving these precious floodplains at risk of fracking by other operators.
“Origin also needs to clarify what it means by “divesting” from these assets. We absolutely do not want to see these tenements, which cover 250,000ha, sold on to a different fracking company.
“Unfortunately, there are many other oil and gas companies, who are champing at the bit to frack these fragile and unique floodplains. The Palaszczuk Government must not allow this to occur.
“Origin’s sudden move to abandon fracking plans across the country demonstrates how fickle big companies can be when it comes to making decisions that directly impact communities.
“The unpredictable nature of the unconventional oil and gas industry is just one of many reasons why the Queensland Palaszczuk Government must not allow fracking on the floodplains in the Lake Eyre Basin.
“The Palaszczuk Government must protect these fragile floodplains from fracking companies who are yet to see that building new, climate-destroying, water-polluting gasfields makes no sense in 2022.”