The Australian Conservation Foundation is encouraging individuals to halt the Morrison Government’s plans to hand millions of dollars in public money to gas companies to frack the Northern Territory’s precious Beetaloo Basin.
Gavan McFadzean, ACF’s Climate Change Program Manager described the area as a vast cultural landscape of tropical savanna woodlands and floodplains that has enormous significance to Traditional Owners dating back thousands of generations.
“Yet companies like Origin, Santos and Empire want to dig, blast and pollute this ancient country, turning it into one of the world’s largest gas fields. And they need public money to get started,” McFadzean said.
“We can halt their destructive fracking by standing with Traditional Owners to speak out against the government’s gas handouts,” he said.
“Just last week the Senate heeded the calls of Traditional Owners and established an inquiry into fracking in the Beetaloo Basin. But submissions close 5pm AEST this Wednesday, 7 July!
“Let’s seize this opportunity and show the huge amount of public opposition to opening up massive new dirty gasfields. Read the ACF’s short guide on how to make a submission and what to say, then make your submission through the Parliament of Australia website.
“By taking 10 minutes to write a personalised submission, you will show the Senate Committee the depth of community concern – and together we can show them the breadth of opposition to big energy companies cutting into the earth and extracting polluting gas.
“This is a tight timeframe so we have some handy suggestions on what to write in your submission.
“For years Traditional Owners and frontline communities have campaigned against dirty gas projects in the NT.
“Fracking is fraught with serious risks including contaminating precious groundwater, polluting the air and threatening to destroy sacred Aboriginal sites.
“Fracking and burning gas also releases greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to extreme weather events like bushfires, droughts, storms and floods.
“Imagine something better.
“The Northern Territory is one of the sunniest places on earth, ripe with potential to be powered by clean, community-owned renewable energy – and to export it as renewable hydrogen.
“People speaking up together for the world we want to see – making submissions, lobbying MPs, rallying, writing, gathering, organising – leads to enormous, positive shifts in our society.
“We’ve seen this so recently, across the country and the world.
“Like eight teenagers and a nun proving in court that the federal environment minister has a duty of care to not harm them by taking decisions that exacerbate climate change.
“Or the Queensland government shutting down Clive Palmer’s plan for a coal mine near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area following vocal community opposition.
“Together, through speaking out, we have enormous power to shape the world.
“Let’s do it.”
McFadzean also points to the fact it is NAIDOC Week – a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“First Nations people have cared for this country since time immemorial and their leadership is critical to achieving strong environmental outcomes. Get involved and learn more by participating in some of this week’s many events.”