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Origin's plans to frack during wet condemned

Protect Country Alliance is alarmed to learn gas company Origin Energy has plans to frack  one of its Northern Territory wells during the high-risk wet season.

The company’s environmental management plan also indicates the company wants to keep waste fluid in open tanks, in direct contrast to the recommendations of the Pepper Inquiry.

Local Mudburra Traditional Owner Raymond Dixon lives downstream from the project and said, “The wet season is a special time for us and for country, and nature. 

“Everything comes back to life. And if that fracking goes ahead through the wet season we will have all that poison chemical waste from the waste tanks. It’s not safe for us, for our water, for this country. 

“It’s going to rain and it’s going to fill that tank up, it could overflow, and once the big wet comes it could push all that water down to our area. Pollution could be pushed into the creek bed, and that runs down our way to all the little water holes that go through our land.”

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said Origin’s decision to frack during the wet season showed the level of arrogance the company had for NT communities and the environment. 

“How dare this company suggest it is ok to keep fracking waste fluid in open air tanks during the highly volatile wet season, when cyclones can flood water catchments in minutes,” he said. 

“Justice Pepper was very specific in recommending that fracking waste fluid not be kept in open air storage units, yet the NT Government, at the behest of industry, has chosen to ignore this recommendation.

“What happens when that fracking fluid enters the rivers and creeks that people get their drinking water and fish from?

“This risk is not worth it. Enough is enough. The Northern Territory Government must reject Origin’s dangerous proposal.”

Tomorrow (November 1) is the last day people have to make a submission in response to the EMP.

The well is on Origin’s Exploration Permit 76, approximately 300km south-east of Katherine, in the Beetaloo Basin.

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