Territory Stories

Devil's advocate



Devil's advocate

Other title

The quarterly magazine from the Arid Lands Environment Centre


Arid Lands Environment Centre


Devil's advocate; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Devil's advocate




Alice Springs


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Healthy futures for arid lands and people




Environmental Protection; Australia, Central; Conservation Of Natural Resources; Arid Lands Environment Centre (Australia); Periodicals

Publisher name

Arid Lands Environment Centre

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Devil's advocate


Autumn 2015

File type




Copyright owner

Arid Lands Environment Centre



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT - Environment Centre NT and Arid Lands Environment Centre 26th February 2015 NT Fracking report welcomed but recommendations are lacking Northern Territory environment groups welcome yesterdays public release of the Hawke Hydraulic Fracturing Report but it has raised a number of significant issues. We welcome the long-awaited release of this critical independent report and look forward to examining its findings. As outlined in our original submission, we reiterate that it is inappropriate and nonsensical for the NT Government to support further shale gas fracking development at least until the reports recommendations have been put into place, said Anna Boustead, Acting Director Environment Centre NT The release of this report confirms what we have been saying all along. The regulatory framework in the NT is not strong enough to ensure that our precious aquifers are protected from fracking. We maintain our calls for a moratorium on shale gas exploration until it can be proven safe. said Jimmy Cocking Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre Environment groups claim that the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing have been played down by the Terms of Reference that were skewed towards shale gas production rather than a full assessment of the risks. It is not satisfactory to have inadequate environmental protection measures in place whilst the shale gas industry is allowed to continue to develop unbridled by proper environmental regulations. This clearly places gas company profits ahead of the risk of causing environmental damage. said Anna Boustead, Acting Director Environment Centre NT. The Report has identified gaps in the regulatory framework around fracking - but has suggested that forming a Cabinet Sub-Committee will suffice to set the standard for best practice regulatory regime. The NT Government has a clear pro-oil and gas agenda. It has run taxpayer-funded advertisements openly promoting oil and gas industry and just last week, the Chief Minister made a curious statement promoting an application by Inpex to conduct exploration for shale gas over the Daly Waters region, before Native Title owners had been consulted, or due process had been followed to approve it. We have no confidence that this proposed SubCommittee would give proper consideration to environmental risks or damage said Anna Boustead, Acting Director Environment Centre NT. The report outlines the need for a social licence to be earned by the industry and suggests that the NT Government work to improve community understanding and engagement on the issues of fracking. It is hoped that the NT Government will change its approach to fracking and start listening to the views of community members. We are seriously concerned about the lack of reserve blocks outside of Alice Springs and Darwin. This is a real risk to people living out bush whether on stations, small townships, communities or homelands, said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre. The report does concede that very little is known about the long-term impacts of abandoned wells but fails to address potential climate impacts and energy alternatives. It is not adequate to say that the total life-cycle climate impact of shale gas fracking is not known when there is much evidence pointing to a potentially significant climate impact said Anna Boustead, Acting Director Environment Centre NT. We welcome the recommended inter-departmental collaboration on this, but its like the NT Government is driving down a dirt road at 100km/h an hour with a flat tyre and telling us itll be OK if we slow down to 80km/h instead. What we really need to do is pull over, try to fix the tyre before driving further down the road - without a moratorium and an overhaul of the regulatory system, theres the growing risk of a methane blow-out, concluded Jimmy Cocking, Director Arid Lands Environment Centre. Watarrka (Kings Canyon) Campaign Despite continued opposition to oil and gas exploration in Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park by Traditional Owners and the community, the exploration permit applications by Palatine Energy which cover almost the entirety of the park have not yet been rejected by the NT Government. Instead the exploration permit applications are being considered by a transparent and open process, which, while allowing for objections to be raised, still continues despite the fact that the Traditional Owners have been expressing their serious concerns with the applications since February 2013. It is unthinkable to consider mining in an area with such strong tourism value, not to mention the cultural and natural heritage value of the park and CAFFA will continue to support the Traditional Owners of Watarrka to stand strong against mining in the park. If you want to take a stand to protect our iconic natural and cultural heritage you can write to Minister Tollner, who has the final say on approving the permit applications, and ask that the permits covering Watarrka National Park not be granted. CAFFA is meeting regularly to plan our fight against fracking. We have a huge program of events planned for the year including film and discussion nights, skills building sessions and of course local actions to raise awareness of the risks of fracking! Concerned community members assemble outside Chief Minister Adam Giles Office and demand the release of the fracking report in March. Central Australian Frack Free Alliance For more information or to get involved in CAFFA email: frackfreecoordinator@gmail.com Or visit the CAFFA Facebook Page: https://www. facebook.com/pages/Central-Australian-FrackFree-Alliance/306595772848043 Community protest against fracking out the front of the Alice Springs Convention Centre to meet mining and gas industry representatives at the Annual Geoscience and Exploration Seminar Can you help out on the Campaign?! Right now we are calling for people who can participate in a letter writing group once a month targeting gas companies and the NTG, as well as people who can help with doing research to support the campaign. If you have an hour or two spare you could contribute to the campaign please get in touch: email: frackfreecoordinator@gmail.com

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