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Tamboran’s pre-Christmas 15 well fracking application is attempt to avoid public scrutiny

Tamboran and the Northern Territory Government have been accused of using the Christmas period to avoid public scrutiny after the company lodged a new application to frack 15 wells and the department gave just 28 days for communities to read and respond to the proposal, with no allowance for public holidays.

The Environment Management Plan for the company’s Beetaloo Basin Shenandoah South E&A Program EP98 and EP117 was lodged on December 1 and went live on the department’s website today (December 12). The wells would be drilled just north of Newcastle Waters.

Tamboran is seeking approval to drill and frack 15 new gas wells, clear 145 hectares, and store 34 million litres of wastewater on site. 

The fracking proposal, which is still considered an “exploration” project by the NT Government, even though Tamboran discusses the sale of “appraisal gas”, would be responsible for more than 400,000 tonnes of direct greenhouse gas pollution, according to the material published today. 

Arid Lands Environment Centre spokesperson Hannah Ekin slammed Tamboran and the NT Government for the timing of the EMP.

“Christmas is a time anywhere in Australia where people tune out, but this is particularly true for the NT, where remote communities are cut off by the wet season, and people with family or friends down south travel to escape the heat.

“There are also cultural responsibilities that need to be addressed at this time of year for many Traditional Owners.

“For Tamboran to lodge this application now suggests it is trying to sneak a fracking project through at a time when the least number of Territorians are watching. It’s disgraceful that the department has not automatically provided an extension to the normal 28 day public comment period to at least allow for the public holidays in the coming weeks.”

“It looks like both the government and the gas industry are afraid of public scrutiny and the community backlash to fracking in the Territory, and are trying to avoid the opposition they know this latest proposal will attract.” 

Tamboran was last week granted approval to “re-domicile” to the known tax secrecy jurisdiction of Delaware in the United States


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