The Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (“Nurrdalinji”) presents this submission to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Inquiry into the Middle Arm Industrial Precinct. We would welcome the opportunity to give testimony at any public hearing held as part of this Inquiry.
Notwithstanding a recent rebrand of the precinct by the Northern Territory government as a “sustainable development” precinct, the primary function of the Middle Arm Industrial Precinct (“Middle Arm”) remains supporting the expansion of the gas industry in the Northern Territory.
Indeed, the Territory government’s initial submission1 in 2020 for funding through Infrastructure Australia outlines establishing “a new gas demand centre” as a fundamental objective, including by opening up the Beetaloo Basin for fracking.
We have taken this opportunity to make a submission in order to express our concern that Middle Arm is in practical terms a fossil fuel project, one that would facilitate fracking, and to again express our members’ opposition to fracking on the grounds that it will damage our country, water, sacred sites and songlines. We ask that the Federal Government act to stop fracking in the Beetaloo, the gas from which is planned to be processed at, and used as feedstock for various industrial projects at the Middle Arm Precinct.
In June 2023, Jingili elder and then Nurrdalinji Deputy Chair Samuel Janama Sandy said this of the federal $1.5 billion commitment of public funds to Middle Arm:
“The Albanese government should listen to Traditional Owners who want to protect country and don’t want fracking in the Beetaloo Basin. Public money shouldn't be used to fill the pockets of big gas companies like Tamboran Resources who do not care about our country, water and cultural heritage.