NITV: These Traditional Owners fear for their Songlines, saying the Northern Land Council is not defending them

June 21, 2023 3:09 PM

Fracking has been approved for the Northern Territory, and thousands of wells could soon dot an area covering many Aboriginal Nations.

The Northern Land Council (NLC) has been accused of failing to stand up for Traditional Owners concerned about the impact of fracking on their Country.

It follows last month's decision by the Northern Territory's chief minister, Natasha Fyles, to approve 28,000 square kilometres of land for gas exploration and extraction.

The Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, formed in 2020 by Traditional Owners against gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin, says that their worries about hydraulic fracturing have not been adequately represented by the NLC.

"We weren't being heard, we were not receiving information about what is happening on Country, and we understand that families have been intentionally divided by companies," said Samuel Janama Sandy, a Djingili Elder and Deputy Chairman of Nurrdalinji.

"We want the [NLC] to do its job properly. Give us the advice and information we need to make necessary decisions and represent our wishes."

The NLC is tasked with representing Traditional Owners throughout the territory in acquiring and managing their Country, including in negotiations with resources companies seeking access to land.

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