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Outrage as NT Government approves Empire Energy fracking project

Protect Country Alliance condemns in the strongest terms possible the NT Gunner Government’s approval of the Empire Energy fracking project.

The approval, which was granted on October 17 but appeared on the government’s website days later, allows Empire subsidiary Imperial Oil and Gas to frack up to seven horizontal wells near the community of Borroloola.

The project was the subject of a Senate Inquiry earlier this year, following revelations the company, which has close ties to the Liberal Party, received $21 million in taxpayer funded federal grants.

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said, “History will not look kindly on the Gunner Government and its foolish decision to approve this polluting fracking project.

“With this approval, Eva Lawler has thrown petrol on a burning house and we are all trapped inside.

“We are just weeks away from the most important climate meeting since the Paris Agreement was forged. We need immediate action to halt the worst impacts of the climate crisis. 

“The Gunner Government has not even completed the basic recommendations of the Pepper Inquiry. It has clearly decided to backflip on its promise to make sure fracking companies offset their emissions.

“Fracking the Beetaloo Basin has the potential to unleash a greenhouse gas bomb of up to 1.4 billion tonnes - that’s two and a half times the amount of Australia’s annual carbon emissions. 

“Traditional Owners have expressed clear concerns about this project, the money it has received, and the way it was assessed.

“This approval utterly flies in the face of science and due process in relation to the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) - studies the Pepper Inquiry said were needed. The dismissal of concerns about Stygofauna is also astounding

“On top of the $21 million in federal fracking cash, Empire Energy also received a $5 million tax concession from the Morrison Government, and is the only gas company that currently stands to benefit from a $217 million roads funding grant. This is corporate welfare on a shocking scale.

“Every way you look at it, the Gunner and Morrison governments are greasing the wheels of the fracking industry at a time when those wheels should be ripped off and thrown in the bin of history.

“Young people and future generations will pay the price for stupid decisions like this.”


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