FRACKING IN THE NT

 

 
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The majority of Aboriginal people, Traditional Owners as well as non-Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory are deeply concerned about the impacts that fracking would have on their land, water, health and long-term sustainability of remote communities. [5]

Across the country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are on the frontlines of both the causes and the impacts of climate change. From extreme heat waves to water shortages, more extreme flooding and destruction of sacred country, it’s too often those who have done the least to cause climate change who face the most severe consequences.  

 
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When it comes to fracking in the NT, it’s Aboriginal communities and Traditional Owners who have the most at stake, who are concerned that companies, including Origin Energy, have so far failed to properly consult Traditional Owners about plans to frack their country.

A recent report from the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research (UTS) found that most, if not all, exploration permits issues in the Northern Territory for unconventional gas were issued in the absence of Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Traditional Owners. [6]

 
 

Stuart Nugget from Elliot is concerned about the information that has been provided to his community: “They said it was testing only. They only mentioned a couple of chemicals. They didn’t mention any risks from fracking. They didn’t mention radioactive materials. They didn’t say how much water that would be used. They didn’t say what they would do with the waste products. They didn’t tell us about flaring and the air pollution.”

Naomi Wilfred, Minyerri community: “Alawa people do not want gas mining on our land. The company has not consulted us about this proposal, or given us a fair chance to negotiate. They came into our communities and just select a few people to talk to, but they never come to the right people. Our elders don’t really understand what these gas companies are planning on our land.”

 
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This is not fair and it’s not right. Traditional Owners should have the final say about what happens on their country. Origin Energy must provide information transparently and honestly to Aboriginal communities whose land, water and future is at threat.