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Act now to protect the Territory's water: new evidence slams the government's fracking science

It’s time to raise the alarm.

Our aquifers, springs and rivers are precious, and like nowhere else on earth.

For years, communities have been warning that fracking in the Beetaloo Basin could destroy iconic waterways like Mataranka Hot Springs, Bitter Springs, and the Roper River. Despite huge community opposition, in April the Northern Territory Government greenlit fracking, repeatedly saying the science backed them u

Today, a new report shows that our water is at risk from fracking like never before.

This major study by academics at Griffith University throws the government’s fracking science into doubt, identifying no less than 16 critical knowledge gaps about the potential impacts of fracking on water. 

This includes the discovery of methane bubbling to the surface at newly discovered hot springs on Tambumbirini Station, suggesting connections between the water that communities rely on and the 4 kilometre deep shale gas layer being targeted right now by gas companies. The report’s lead author, Professor Currell, gives a stark warning: “at present, it is not possible to properly assess the risk of contamination and over-extraction of Northern Territory water due to fracking.”

This research is shocking. Territorians have been repeatedly assured that the science underpinning its decision to greenlight fracking is sound. Now we learn that the baseline studies we were promised are slipshod and seriously flawed, with holes so big you could drive a truck through them.

To proceed with fracking on the current evidence base would risk our rivers, aquifers and springs. Yet that’s what is happening. Fracking company Tamboran has just completed drilling of a new well in “record time” using its mega-fracker imported from the United States. The NT Government also stands poised to declare the largest water allocation in the Territory’s history to open up fracking and cotton, against the advice of water experts from around the country. This could see over 250 BILLION litres of water allocated a year from the aquifer that keeps rivers like the Roper and Daly flowing all year round.

We need you stand up right now to protect the Territory’s water. It’s never been more urgent that we stop the NT Government from proceeding with its disastrous plans.

We’re calling on Territorians to write to the brand new Water Minister Kate Worden, and ask her to step up to protect our water for us, not the frackers.    

Please sign the submission online, for the sake of our rivers, springs and aquifers.