Media Alert: NT Traditional Owners say no to Morrison money for Beetaloo Basin fracking at Senate Inquiry Hearings

March 22, 2022 7:02 PM

Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation presents at Darwin hearing of Senate Inquiry into gas exploration in the Beetaloo. Comments on Taylor's budget announcement today of $50.3M for 7 new gas projects, including Beetaloo pipeline study.

Nurrdalinji Chair, Johnny Wilson:

“The government is again handing out millions of dollars to companies for fracking that will destroy our future. Why is this money not being spent on housing, health and education for our communities?

“Fracking will ruin our country and the water which runs underneath the land, which is very sacred to us and runs our songlines.

“We are sick with heavy hearts knowing that our country will be damaged by fracking.

“We are doing everything we can to try to stop fracking. It is our future and our generations next to come that we are worried about."

Nurrdalinji has recently made submissions to Origin, Sweetpea and Imperial’s Environment Management Plans, now sitting with the NT government for approval, and can comment on their shortcomings.

High resolution photos of Nurrdalinji directors for download

Background to Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation

Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation has members across the Beetaloo Basin and Barkly regions. It includes native title holders from the Amungee Mungee, Beetaloo, Hayfield, Kalala, Newcastle Waters - Murranji, Nutwood Downs, Shenandoah, Tandyidgee, Tanumbirini, Daly Waters Township, Ucharonidge native title determinations.

The Beetaloo sub-basin is located around 500 kilometres south-east of Darwin. It embraces Aboriginal land, pastoral leases (which co-exist with Native Title rights and interests), horticultural enterprises, cattle stations and remote Aboriginal communities. A number of companies are currently undertaking fracked gas drilling in the region, with most of the NT covered by exploration permits.

Background to Inquiry

The Inquiry was set up to consider Federal funding of fracking companies in Beetaloo Basin. Nurrdlinji made a Submission (no 18) and appeared before an earlier public hearing in Canberra Transcript 2 August 2021. Interim report delivered August 2021 here. A key recommendation is that: Consistent with the Pepper Inquiry, the Federal and NT Governments, in collaboration with First Nations people, review the consultation processes used to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Traditional Owners and Native Title holders in relation to fracking proposals on Country, with specific consideration of the need to conduct on Country meetings and to provide translators. Final inquiry report due 21 April 2022.