Beef producers to be surveyed on fracking


p2161-Tracey-HayesBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The Cattlemen’s Association is gearing up for a qualitative survey of its members’ views about a range of issues relating to the oil and gas industry including fracking.
CEO Tracey Hayes (pictured) says the results of the confidential poll will be discussed at the association’s AGM in March.
They will also be submitted to the NT Government which has imposed a moratorium on the controversial oil and gas production method.
Ms Hayes says the survey will canvass members’ views, the “level of understanding of the shale gas industry,” and whom cattle producers rely on for information.
“The purpose is to add depth and rigour to the discussion with government and industry” on the position of the cattle industry in the NT on such issues as strengthening and control of pasture protection, water, access agreements, fracking and best practice for any co-existence.
Ms Hayes says on some issues the association is likely to seek additional and independent regulatory processes and a further strengthening of access agreements to transition from just a policy direction.
She is currently in China on a trade mission to boost cattle sales.
Meanwhile Lauren Mellor, of the Territory Frack Free Alliance, says Territory cattle station owners are speaking up to support the WA National Party’s unanimous decision over the weekend to support the right of veto for farmers and other landholders over oil and gas companies wanting access to private land.
She says before the August NT election, over 60 Territory cattle stations had signed an open letter calling for the right to say no to oil and gas fracking projects on their land.
Ms Mellor quotes in her statement Rod Dunbar from Nutwood Downs as saying: “Origin Energy wants to put 400 fracked shale gas wells on my cattle station. I simply want the right to say no thanks.
“I’m running a viable cattle business here and I will not accept the water contamination risk of trying to navigate a polluting fracked gasfield on my own property,” Ms Mellor quoted Mr Dunbar as saying.
She also quotes Daniel Tapp from Roper River region Big River Cattle Station as saying: “Being forced into an access agreement with a gas fracking company does not protect my rights to run a viable Territory business.
“We’ve been let down by the CLP and now Territory Labor who are still refusing to give us the right to say no to oil and gas companies barging onto our land to get what they want.”


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