Media Release: NT Govt approves Empire Energy fracking wells: Traditional Owners comment

October 20, 2021 6:40 PM

Nurrdalinji responds to announcement by the Northern Territory Government that it has granted approval to Empire Energy for up to 7 fracking wells in the Beetaloo Basin. Approval document here. Empire ASX notice here and public statement. Empire Energy, a Liberal Party donor, was controversially granted $21 million by the Morrison government in July 2021, as part of its ‘gas-fired recovery’

Comment by Traditional owner Johnny Wilson, Chair of the Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, who lives in Lightning Ridge within 20 kms of the new fracking wells. Mr Wilson recently gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into oil and gas exploration and production in the Beetaloo Basin.

Mr Wilson said, “With this approval by the Minister the future looks dim. I am concerned how fracking will impact my country, my people and my family.

We are crying and grieving and pleading for help. The Northern Land Council must do the right thing and protect our country from Empire’s fracking plans”.

“Water is life and fracking can poison it. I worry about how we will protect local artifacts and sacred sites which are passed down for us to look after and hold great stories.

“We must keep our law, culture and story alive. How can we do that when these companies are destroying our heritage?

“The Prime Minister should not hand money to companies damaging our country, when what we need is proper housing, education, roads and health services.

“As chair of Nurrdalinji and Jungai Traditional Owner, it has been hard to get the Northern Land Council to sit down and talk with us. I have written to the Northern Land Council about the poor way they have represented us with mining companies.

"It’s time the Northern Land Council listens to us and does their work so we can live peacefully on our country, doing what we’ve always done - fishing, hunting and swimming in our waterhole".