LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – On Saturday, October 11, people are gathering around the world to call for a ban on fracking. The controversial and invasive method of extracting gas is being deployed across the Northern Territory.
Large volumes of water, sand and chemicals are injected under high pressure to fracture the shale rock layers and free up methane and associated gases to be brought to the surface for processing and export.
The hydraulic fracturing process has been blamed for groundwater contamination, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing seismicity (earthquakes and tremours) and negative impacts on communities touched by the industry and the process.
The current situation in the Northern Territory is that more than 90% has been applied for Petroleum Exploration Licenses which permit hydraulic fracturing, with more than 35% of the NT currently approved for exploration.
The situation here in the NT is disturbing. The NT Government is running an Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing but at the same time, questions are being asked in the courts about the process of water allocation and the scale of exploration application is astonishing.
We’ve been asking for a moratorium on granting approvals to frack until the recommendations of the inquiry are implemented. It just makes sense to do it properly, rather than the ad hoc and non-strategic approach that the NT Government is taking. There is no consideration of the cumulative impacts of all of this fracking. They shouldn’t have even started.
This Saturday at 4pm. ALEC will be joining concerned community members to ask the decision-makers to enact a moratorium on granting exploration licences until the hydraulic fracturing inquiry recommendations are implemented. The gathering will take place at Snow Kenna Park and will be in solidarity with other groups standing up across the Territory in Darwin, Katherine and Borroloola.
Our groundwater is too precious to risk for company shareholder profits. Our country is too beautiful to waste on industrialised landscapes and gaseous smells. We have to stop this now before it’s too late, fossil fuels are a 19th century technology – renewable energy and storage is for now and into the future.
Director, Arid Lands Environment Centre
LETTER TO THE EDITOR