Political party opposition to Safe Drinking Water Act won’t wash with NT voters

Published: August 04, 2020

Protect Country Alliance has criticised Labor and the CLP for refusing to support a Safe Drinking Water Act in the NT while the parties back dirty and dangerous fracking projects.  

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the two major parties in the NT are more committed to supporting a dirty and dangerous fracking industry here in the NT than they are to providing safe drinking water for remote communities,” said PCA spokesperson Graeme Sawyer.

“We are calling on all NT political parties to publicly announce their support of mandated minimum drinking water standards that are enshrined in law.

“It is of deep concern that Labor and the CLP are actively supporting the fracking industry, which threatens our precious water resources, while at the same time opposing an Act that would increase safeguards around water.

“There is a dangerous lack of any laws protecting safe drinking water in the NT, especially in remote communities. 

“Other states, like South Australia, have a law that requires drinking water suppliers to be accountable to the public and to comply with minimum drinking water quality standards. Such an Act - particularly with respect to people living in remote communities - is long overdue for the Territory.

“At the moment there are inconsistencies with how water users in remote communities in the NT are treated compared to people living in urban areas.

“To make matters worse, many of the communities that do not have mandated safe water are also located closest to the planned fracking areas around Elliott, Daly Waters and Borroloola.

“Communities have raised concerns time and time again that drinking water contamination is a real risk for people living near fracking projects. Without proper legislative protection in place, these remote communities could face similar contamination cases as seen in the USA, NSW and QLD.

“All political parties must support a Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the health and wellbeing of remote NT communities.” 

Background

The four Northern Territory Land Councils have united in condemning the ‘unacceptable’ lack of protection for safe and adequate drinking water in the NT. The Land Councils want all NT political parties to commit to enacting a Safe Drinking Water Act that provides regulatory protection and accountability for the safe and adequate water for all.

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