Beetaloo Basin traditional owners comment on Rallen Australia’s current NT Supreme Court action against Santos for failing to disclose approval for two additional fracking wells on Rallen’s Tanumbirini Station near Daly Waters. Media report here.
Traditional owner Johnny Wilson, Chair of the Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation who lives in Lightning Ridge, within 20 kms of new fracking wells, who recently gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into oil and gas exploration and production in the Beetaloo Basin said:
Mr Wilson said, “We hear from this court action that Santos is once more stopping pastoralists and Traditional Owners from knowing the true story of what is happening on country. It’s not just the pastoralists that Santos is failing to properly consult with, it’s also our people.
“Fracking wells risk the water systems that connect our country and people together. Our songlines go through these waters. We have a heavy heart thinking about what will happen if things go wrong when Santos does its mining.
“Fracking is ruining our country but Santos is pushing ahead, hiding the truth about its operations.
“We fear what damage will be done to our land from fracking. Right now, a cyclone is coming to the Territory and big rains risk waste water ponds from fracking overflowing.
“Santos is fracking and drilling through our aquifers. Where are the safety measures? There’s nothing.
“These mining operations are stopping our people hunting and living on country like we have for generations. They are polluting our water. Where do we fish, hunt or camp? We can’t because our water is already contaminated. Our fish, kangaroos, emus and turkeys are being poisoned.
“Santos is only interested in making money, it’s not worried about our people, country and culture. Santos made agreements with our old people a long time ago when people couldn’t understand properly what fracking is all about or that one or two wells would increase to sixty. Our old people were not told what serious damage could be done by drilling into our water systems.
“We don’t want this fracking. The Northern Land Council has got the wrong people to talk about other people’s country. Santos and Origin’s money talks and this has damaged relationships between us.”
Photo of Mr Wilson and Nurrdalinji Chair here.