We know that Territorians want strong climate action. The place we love so dearly may become uninhabitable if we don’t act to safeguard our future now. Territorians are already leaving due to the impacts of climate change.
Yet the Northern Territory Government is prepared to sacrifice our future for new fossil fuel projects. If it goes ahead, fracking in the Beetaloo Basin could increase Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 22%. And it’s not just the Beetaloo. The planned gas and petrochemical industrialisation of Middle Arm in Darwin Harbour, and offshore projects like the Barossa, are new gas projects that simply shouldn’t proceed if we are to avoid climate catastrophe.
In 2018, the NT Government lifted the moratorium on fracking in the Northern Territory, and made a big promise to Territorians to safeguard our climate: that the NT and Australian Governments would ensure there will be no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions generated in Australia from fracking in the Beetaloo Basin (Recommendation 9.8). They also said that the NT Government couldn’t deliver on this promise alone – the help of the Australian Government is needed because the scale of the emissions is just too vast.
Territorians have been waiting to find out if this promise will be kept. In February 2023 the Federal Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowen, told ABC’s Insiders program that the Australian Government will not help with offsetting fracking emissions in the Northern Territory.
If this core recommendation of the Pepper Inquiry can't be met then fracking needs to be banned in the Territory. That’s the promise that was made to Territorians.
This is a defining moment for NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles. She can stand up and say – right now – that the recommendations of the Pepper Inquiry cannot be met and fracking is banned. She will win the hearts and minds of many Territorians by doing so. To do anything else is a broken promise.
The Northern Territory should not be a sacrifice zone for the fossil fuel industry. Every new gas development contributes to the climate crisis and puts the liveability of the Northern Territory at risk. The best way to reduce emissions is to leave fossil fuels like gas in the ground.
Sign the petition and let Chief Minister Natasha Fyles know that real Climate Action means No New Gas.