A Northern Territory Traditional Owner and staunch fracking opponent is outraged after a pro-fracking website used his image without permission.
The website, for the Beetaloo Economic Alliance, uses images of Mudburra Elder and long time fracking opponent Ray Dimakarri Dixon on pages promoting fracking in the NT.
Media has reported the website was registered to an entity in Pyrmont.
Mr Dixon said, “I was shocked. It’s horrible, terrible stuff. It makes me feel that people might be looking at it and thinking that I support fracking. But I’ve been standing up for my Country, and water, and the environment.
“I never spoke to them (the Beetaloo Economic Alliance) or had contact with them. You can’t just go and put a website up with a person’s image without talking to them. They’ve got no respect for Traditional Owners of this land.”
It’s not the first time an organisation has purported to have local support for fracking in the NT, only to be revealed as inauthentic. In October 2021, the Back Beetaloo campaign was outed as an astroturfing operation, after it was reported its website was registered by a former Liberal staffer in Sydney who was running a digital marketing business. “Astroturfing” is when a movement claims to be local and grassroots, but is in fact based outside the region and often influenced by vested interests.
Central Australian Frack Free Alliance spokesperson Hannah Ekin said Territorians were sick of the tricks fracking companies were using.
“Surveys have shown the vast majority of Territorians don’t want fracking. But the fracking industry doesn’t want to take no for an answer, so we see these dodgy websites created by unknown players like the Beetaloo Economic Alliance and Back Beetaloo popping up.
“Back Beetaloo’s astroturfing was unethical, but the Beetaloo Economic Alliance’s use of a Traditional Owner’s image - one who is committed to the fight against fracking at that - without his permission is totally unacceptable.”