What a difference six months makes. Before the federal election, the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory was to have spearheaded Australia’s “gas-led recovery”.
But Origin Energy this week announced it would sell its share of the basin project ahead of a wider exit from new gas ventures.
The Beetaloo Basin holds a truly enormous amount of fossil carbon – prompting Greens leader Adam Bandt to describe it as a “climate bomb”.
Origin’s exit is not a killing blow to the controversial project. But it shows increasing corporate jitters about investing in gas. And the announcement came as major iron miner Fortescue announced plans to eliminate fossil fuel use within eight years.
Origin’s exit is a major win for the region’s Traditional Owners, many of whom feared the fracking would cause large-scale environmental damage, as well as harming the climate. But Origin has sold its rights to frack Beetaloo – so the fight is far from over.