Katherine Times: 'We will suffer': Beetaloo Basin Traditional Owners say no to new fracking

May 10, 2024 2:57 PM

In response to the Federal Government's release of the "Future Gas Strategy", Beetaloo Basin Traditional Owners have renewed their call against fracking.

Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, which represents native title holders from the Beetaloo Basin region where Tamboran and Empire are exploring for fracked gas, said the answer to power communities was not gas but solar.

Chair of Nurrdalinji, Djingili Elder Samuel Sandy, said Traditional Owners didn't want new gas "which involves drilling into our land in the Northern Territory and damaging our country, culture and water".

"We want new, renewable energy," he said.

"The answer is not gas but solar, which can power our communities from the sun. This is where we want governments to concentrate. That way, we can have a better future together.

"Why are we letting all these foreign companies come here and dig and look for fossil fuels? They just want to stuff their pockets with cash while our communities will be left with nothing.

"Mr Sandy said in the view of the Beetaloo Traditional Owners fracking was "very highly dangerous".

"If gas mining poisons water, we will all suffer. Water is life, and it's so significant -to land, culture, songlines and our grandchildren," he said.

"If our country is fracked, where are we going to take our grandchildren out on country to teach them, the way my grandfather taught me? How will they be taught the songlines, our way of life?

"It's already getting hotter here, making it harder to live on country."Already our people can't keep their homes cool. Digging and burning more gas will make this worse.

"In 2023 Nurrdalinji made a submission to the Government's future gas strategy, highlighting concerns about what they called "inadequate consultation and risks to country, water and sacred sites".

The Federal Government announced in early May that Australia had locked in gas supplies to 2050 under the future gas strategy.

"Gas plays a crucial role in supporting our economy, with the sector employing 20,000 people across the country, including remote and regional communities," Resources Minister Madeleine King said.

Full story here.

Annie Hesse | 9 May 2024