The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission: Final Report’s emphasis on fracking the Beetaloo Basin is inconsistent with its support for a zero emissions NT economy, according to Protect Country Alliance.
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said, as noted in the recent Grattan Institute report, gas would inevitably decline as an energy source, and was as much a climate-wrecking fossil fuel as coal.
“We have just emerged from the hottest November ever in the Territory,” Mr Sawyer said.
“Territorians have now been delivered a contradictory report which on one page stresses the need to tackle climate change, while on another promotes fracking the Beetaloo and releasing a carbon bomb.
“The two are not compatible.
“The language in this report is also deeply concerning because it appears to foreshadow more public money being spent propping up the polluting and ultimately economically nonsensical fracking industry.
“Territory governments have already spent more than $100 million trying to encourage the frackers, but even these companies don’t seem that impressed with what they’ve found so far.
“Last week, at an investors briefing, Origin Energy said it was preparing to “farm down” its Beetaloo assets. Our read of that is the Beetaloo’s gas reserves aren’t as promising as they were once thought to be.
“The very real risk here is that we spend a whole lot more public money putting water and the climate at risk for very little gain, and are left with stranded, polluting assets.
“This report was an opportunity to thrust the Territory and its people head-on into the inevitable carbon-neutral future. By including fracking the Beetaloo, it has failed.
“Fracked gas is too expensive and too polluting to play a role in the world’s energy future.
“It would be a major mistake that would damage the future of the NT economy and the interests of future generations to continue pursuing the folly of fracking.
“However, it is encouraging that the government acknowledges that Traditional Owners will have a role in future approvals. Given the government’s recent sell out of Traditional Owners in relation to the MacArthur River mine expansion, we expect all Traditional Owners to be properly consulted and their wishes to block access to their land and sacred sites to fracking companies to be respected.”