MR: High risk of water damage from Tamboran fracking approval, say Beetaloo Traditional Owners and pastoralists

August 12, 2022 6:23 PM

The first fracking approval made by the new NT Minister for Environment, allowing Tamboran Resources to drill and frack on Tanumbirini cattle station, puts precious water and sacred waterways at risk, says Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation which represents Traditional Owners across the Beetaloo Basin and one of Australia’s biggest landowners, Rallen Australia.

Tamboran Resources’ subsidiary, Sweetpea Petroleum, has today said it has received approval for Environment Management Plan EP 136, allowing them to begin drilling and fracking up to seven wells on Rallen Australia’s Tanumbirini cattle station.

Chair of Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, Johnny Wilson, who is a traditional owner for this area and actively involved in the NT government’s baseline water study process (SREBA) said,  “We fear that this work by Tamboran, which involves them drawing out huge amounts of water from deep under our country, will damage sacred waterways and songlines.

“The fracking inquiry told the government to not frack until scientists had studied what the water impacts might be. 

“Sweetpea has provided no evidence to show that extracting the enormous amount of water is safe”.

Josephine John, a Nurrdalinji Director said, “In our experience, Sweetpea do not care about our rights, our sacred places or what their fracking will do to our country.

“I went and saw the Santos fracking well on Tanumbirini station. I feel sad and frightened for our kids and their future if we will see many more of them across our area.”

Luciana Ravazzotti, Rallen Australia Executive Director, said, “As pastoralists we are dismayed by the government’s disregard for the impact fracking operations will have on the cattle industry, our environment and in driving climate change.

“Water is already at a premium here. If we damage our aquifers and water sources we will sacrifice the cattle industry which has long been the backbone of the Territory’s economy.

“The government is failing to see the reality on the ground and remains bent on backing this new industry, which everyone knows has a limited future. The long term fall out for local communities will be devastating if the scale of fracking planned for the Beetaloo goes ahead