SYDNEY, April 17, 2018 – The government’s decision to open the Northern Territory to the environmental devastation of fracking is short-sighted and will lead to the contamination of water, increased carbon emissions and a myriad of health problems for the people of the NT.
The Territory government this morning announced it will lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, following a review by Justice Rachel Pepper that made 135 recommendations.
“Chief Minister Gunner’s decision to open up more than half of the Northern Territory to fracking is a betrayal of his constituents and the people of Australia who want clean water, clean air and a healthy future for their communities,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner Nikola Casule said.
“Giving the green light to frack the Territory is grossly irresponsible and completely incompatible with Australia’s international commitments to reduce carbon pollution.
“Fracking has proven to be an ecological disaster all over the world. Communities in New South Wales and Queensland have already witnessed the devastating impact that fracking has on water, agriculture and people’s health. Territorians of all backgrounds have repeatedly expressed those fears, yet the government will now force them to endure the same harm.”
The resumption of fracking in the NT could increase Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions by more than five percent, according to a report published this month by The Australia Institute.
The emissions would also be equivalent to 100 times more than the emissions savings under the Northern Territory Government’s Roadmap to Renewables: 50% by 2030 policy and more than six times the NT’s entire current emissions.
“How can the government say one day that it is committed to reducing emissions by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and then the next sign off on a move that could increase annual emissions by 600 percent?” Casule said.
“There are no upsides to this move. It will exacerbate climate change, slow the transition to clean renewable energy, destroy water and agricultural land and harm people’s health. Fracking has left a trail of destruction everywhere it has been undertaken and it would be naive to think the NT can avoid the same fate. Chief Minister Gunner must review and revoke this decision before it’s too late.”