ABC: Promise of Beetaloo Basin fracking jobs prompts mixed views from NT's Aboriginal people

May 16, 2023 5:08 PM

The gas industry's promise of fracking-related jobs in the Beetaloo Basin has divided Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, leaving some feeling hopeful and others suspicious.

Jeremy Jackson works at Indigenous labour hire company Triple P Contracting, in the small NT town of Elliott.

The company previously worked for Origin Energy removing waste, conducting weed surveys and checking well sites.

Now, the labourers work for the Beetaloo Basin's largest stakeholder, Tamboran Resources.

"It was the only way we could go, to get a bit of benefit out of it, to get some work and maybe some community benefit in the long term," Mr Jackson said.

"We need to be smarter and wiser, to actually meet with these companies to actually negotiate with them and get a better deal for us Indigenous people."

In the town of Elliott, which lies roughly halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin, jobs and training opportunities are scarce.

That is why some residents were cheering on the proposed Sun Cable solar farm at the nearby Newcastle Waters cattle station.

"A lot of people are keen on going out and working," Mr Jackson said.

"It's just a matter of ... getting these companies to actually employ our local people."

Read the full ABC story here.