Last week the Federal Government passed a bill to expand the water trigger to include fracking projects.
The move means any unconventional gas projects will need to be approved by an independent body before they go ahead.
Widjabul Wia-bul Woman and Get UP CEO Larissa Baldwin-Roberts has been campaigning for the rejection of the thousands of proposed fracking wells in the Northern Territory
“I feel like we have been campaigning with communities for many years for this protection,” she said.
“There’s been so much work done in remote communities, mapping their water, doing that first inquiry.
It’s so vital to have this protection.”
Ms Baldiwn-Roberts says the expanded trigger will protect communities in the NT who rely on underground water.
“Shale gas fracking, which is the type of fracking they want to do commercially in the NT, is banned in many other states and territories, and there has been no ability within legislation to actually apply that trigger on shale gas fracking.”
Djingili Elder and Chair Director of the Nurranlinji Aboriginal Corporation Samuel Sandy says fracking poses a threat to communities’ way of life around the Beetalo.
“We cannot afford to frack, because already with climate change it’s getting hotter and hotter, I live in Katherine [in the] Northern Territory, and it’s stopping people from going back to live on country.”
He says he’d rather the NT government invest in projects that don’t destroy country.
“We just want the gas companies to pack up and go home.
We need jobs and even though the gas companies promised them, we won’t see them.
We need jobs that doesn’t involve drilling into country and destroying our water.”
The government should be supporting solar, housing, education, health services, for our communities not spending our money on big fracking communities.