The Roper River is truly iconic. Fed by a huge underground aquifer that keeps it flowing all year round, its stunning hot springs, famous fishing grounds, and wetlands teeming with birdlife are valued by people around the world. This free-flowing river is part of what makes the Territory so special. The last thing we should be doing is putting it at risk.
But right now, the Northern Territory Government is rushing to allocate billions of litres of water to meet fracking industry deadlines. We are in a race against time to protect the mighty Roper.
We need your help to tell the Chief Minister to intervene to protect our water.
In the last 18 months story after story after story has highlighted the risks of giving billions of litres of water to gas, mining and cotton companies for free - while some Territorians don't even have access to clean drinking water.
Recently, there was an outcry when we revealed that a secret Government memo was ignored by decision-makers, suggesting that if water is allocated in line with current rules the Roper River could run dry. It shows just what is at stake.
Despite the risks, the government is forging ahead to allocate billions of litres of water by declaring water allocation plans in the Beetaloo Basin before the end of the year so that the fracking industry can move to production.
They’re proposing to do this using risky allocation rules that permit water mining, BEFORE the scientific baseline studies meant to inform water allocation plans are completed, and WITHOUT establishing water advisory committees which would enable the community to inform the development of these plans.
It’s just not on. At the Environment Centre NT, we are calling on the NT Government to protect our water for all Territorians. So with Protect Big Rivers, Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, Protect Country Alliance and Arid Lands Environment Centre, we have called on the Chief Minister to:
Now, we need help from you to make sure the Chief Minister knows how much the community cares.
Dear Chief Minister,
I'm writing to ask you to urgently intervene to protect the Territory's water from fracking, cotton, mining and other thirsty industries.
The issue of water united the community like no other during the Fracking Inquiry. The Northern Territory Government promised to declare water allocation plans before the fracking industry could move to production, using sustainable rules.
After 4.5 years of delay, I'm concerned that your Government is rushing these plans to meet gas industry timeframes, without scientific studies being completed or the community being properly engaged in their development. I am also very concerned that decision-makers have been ignoring the government’s own scientific research that proposed water allocation rules are unsustainable and could lead to catastrophic impacts on rivers like the iconic Roper River.
Decisions about our most precious resource should not be rushed.
I ask that you:
Our water is too precious to risk.