Right now, 51% of the Northern Territory in Australia is licensed for potential oil and gas extraction.
A huge number of these licenses are located on indigenous sacred sites.
In May, a report from the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), a group advising the government on the coronavirus economic recovery, was leaked. It recommended that the Morrison government create a market for gas and fossil fuel infrastructure that would operate for decades to come.
The commission and its recommendations have already received backlash for their close ties to the fossil fuel industry, which includes Nev Power, the former head of iron ore company, Fortescue Metals.
Most importantly, it suggested lifting a moratorium on gas exploration in NSW and Victoria, and the easing of regulations in the Northern Territory to allow quicker access to the Beetaloo Basin.
"It will poison groundwater, pollute the air, destroy sacred sites, and change our seasons." - Seed Mob
The traditional owners of the land have been fighting for years to put a stop to the NT governments plans that will cause irreparable harm to their country.
The environmental damage that fracking gas creates is especially dangerous for these remote Indigenous communities. For starters, the NT is connected by one water table, so when any part of the water system is polluted, eventually the entire system will become poisoned - making the water undrinkable, wiping out marine life and infecting the soil across the entire territory.
Wastewater from fracking operations, containing high levels of ammonium, selenium, lead and other toxic contaminants as well as high salts, are frequently spilled from unconventional oil drill sites.
What you can do
- You can sign this petition with Seed Mob and this petition from Get Up! to add weight to the cause
- If you're an Origin energy customer, you can use your consumer power to let them know that if they don't back away from their plans to frack the NT, you will switch energy providers.
- Head to Origin's social media and post your concerns about the impacts of fracking on our climate, land rights, water, air and land. Here's their twitter, facebook (you can't comment on their Instagram anymore but you can tag them in photos! @originenergy)
- Call their phone line to complain. You might have to stay on the line for a while and you'll get passed around to various people while they work out what to do, but it's a great opportunity to make Origin feel like this issue is not going away until their drop their fracking plans: 13 24 61
- You could also send them a letter with your message: GPO Box 1199, Adelaide SA 5001
- In a few weeks, Seed Mob is going to launch #FrackOffFridays in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to talk to Origin staff about the dangers of fracking in the NT. If you've pledged to be part of the campaign, they will send you more details soon!
By Madeleine Achenza
Madeleine is currently studying journalism at the University of Technology Sydney. She is hoping to start her career in environmental communication with a focus on bringing communities together despite their differences to preserve the beauty of our natural world.