No-go fracking zones 'deeply flawed and farcical'


Sir – Protect Country Alliance condemns the deeply flawed and farcical process followed by the Northern Territory Government to determine its no-go fracking zones.
The government confirmed fracking companies would be granted open slather to more than half of the NT’s landmass, after failing to apply its own criteria for the protection of critical assets like town drinking water supplies and areas of natural and cultural significance.
Unbelievably, the NT Government has also approved Santos’ Environmental Management Plan for a gas well, without actually mentioning the company will have to frack in order to access shale gas as planned.
According to the released mapping, the government was even allowing fracking within the recharge area for the world renowned, sacred Mataranka Springs and the Roper River.
It shows a complete failure to apply the government’s own criteria for protection. Mataranka springs are an important cultural site and high-value tourism area, yet the springs and the Roper River remain exposed to fracking and exploration in the water recharge area.
It is insane that this polluting industry is being allowed to run rampant across the NT, where water is such a precious resource.
The NT Government has also lied through its teeth by claiming it was upholding the recommendations of the fracking inquiry.
The government is breaking this promise by failing to apply the criteria for no go zones fairly and faithfully across the NT.
The approval of Santos’ Environmental Management Plan also demonstrated how little the government knew about the fracking industry.
Santos and the NT Government have teamed up on a dirty process. The plan they just approved is for Santos to drill the well, but the government has failed to address the fact Santos would then need to frack the well.
Santos is chasing shale gas, which always needs to be fracked, using high pressure and a chemical slurry. But the Santos EMP totally failed to include the details of the fracking process. This assessment process is death by a thousand cuts.
Lauren Mellor (pictured)
Protect Country Alliance


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