Media Release: Pitt hands $7.5M to Sweetpea for Beetaloo Fracking: Traditional Owners comment

March 07, 2022 7:00 PM

Commenting on the Morrison government’s latest grant of $7.5M for fracking exploration in the NT’s Beetaloo Basin, Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation has called for a pause on all exploration and approvals until proper consultation occurs with Traditional Owners and the cumulative risks of fracking for water, sacred sites and native animals are better understood.

Sweetpea’s response to the news, including Keith Pitt’s media release, is here.

Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation members have native title and traditional interests across the Beetaloo Sub-basin/ Barkly region, including in the EMP area of Exploration Permit 136, the subject of Sweetpea’s grant. Nurrdalinji made a submission to Sweetpea’s Environmental Management Plan in late February 2022.

Native title holder, Djingili elder and Nurrdalinji Deputy Chairman Samuel Janama Sandy said, “It’s not right that these big gas companies are moving ahead without everyone’s consent, while the Prime Minister gives millions of dollars to help them frack our country.

“Communication between us and companies like Sweetpea has been really poor and they are not listening to our views. It is time to hit pause until everyone is better informed and consent is clear.”

Native title holder and Nurrdalinji Director Josephine John, living in Katherine said, “We are very concerned that we don’t know what these companies are up to on our country.

“Governments should look closely at the combined impact of all fracking in the Beetaloo and what that means for our sacred water sources and the life this water supports.”

Photos of Nurrdalinji Directors, including the spokespeople quoted here, are available for download here.


The Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation 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.