Senate Inquiry recommendations increase impediments to Beetaloo fracking
[by Dominic Geiger]
The release of the recommendations comes as staunch Territorians rallied at Darwin’s port this morning to oppose the importation of Tamboran’s “mega-fracker” drill rig, which can drill horizontally for four kilometres. Image: supplied
Lock the Gate Alliance supports the implementation of the recommendations released today as a result of the Senate Inquiry into fracking in the Northern Territory, and has called for an immediate halt on exploration and production until they are in place.
The Inquiry report recognises the strong community opposition to fracking in the Territory, and the recommendations represent a significant setback to fracking company and NT Government plans to rush towards ill-considered production.
The recommendations recognise the rights and interests of Traditional Owners and advance processes to ensure free, prior, and informed consent, and the protection of sacred sites and cultural heritage.
Crucially, the Senate Inquiry recommended the fast tracking of the Albanese Government's promised Water Trigger for fracking projects and proper implementation of NT Fracking Inquiry recommendations to offset lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
The recommendations also put an end to the NT Fyles Government’s attempts to obfuscate the true purpose of the Middle Arm development, noting “a future liquified natural gas and petrochemical plant in the area would likely source feedstock from the Beetaloo Basin”.
Lock the Gate National Coordinator Carmel Flint said the cross-party inquiry demonstrated there was majority political support for greater restrictions on NT fracking.
“If implemented, these recommendations will make a real difference. The NT Fyles Government has demonstrated it is not up to the task of regulating the multi-billion dollar, predatory fracking industry. That’s why this Senate Inquiry was so important,” she said.
“The leadership of Traditional Owners in standing up for Country, and their very significant contributions to the Inquiry, have been recognised with important recommendations about protection of sacred sites and proper cultural impact assessments.
“The recommendations in this report represent a significant setback to NT fracking and send a strong message to potential investors that these projects have no future in a carbon constrained world.
“They show Federal Labor, Greens, and Independents working constructively together to better respect the wishes of First Nations peoples and to push back against fracking companies on climate and water grounds.
“Yesterday the NT Government implied that it would sign off on all Fracking Inquiry recommendations and give the industry a green light in a matter of weeks, but this report proves that several key Fracking Inquiry recommendations have not been implemented.
“We’re calling for all of the recommendations to be implemented in full and are seeking a commitment that there will be no approvals of shale gas production in the Northern Territory until that has happened.”
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