Resources Minister Keith Pitt announced this morning that the Morrison Government will invest $50 million of taxpayer money for exploration in the Beetaloo Basin, a push to subsidise the struggling gas industry. This comes less than a month after the Territory experienced the hottest November on record. Entrenching a reliance on gas will only worsen the impacts of climate change.
This is an unprecedented and outrageous use of public money which Territorians do not support. Fracking projects will bring significant risks to land and water, already suffering from the impacts of climate change.
Polling commissioned by the Protect Country Alliance found that 86% of Territorians do not support fracking.The Oxfam National Poll September 2020 found that just 14% of Australian voters support the Federal Government prioritising taxpayer funds for the gas industry to rebuild the economy over other sectors, with 41% instead supporting investment in renewable energy.
“Gas is a fossil fuel which is driving and worsening climate change. There is also no possible way to offset the emissions projected to be created through fracking projects in the NT, and on the Commonwealth Environment Department’s own advice, opening up the Beetaloo will scupper Australia’s chances of meeting its Paris Agreement targets. Gas is no better for the climate than coal.” said ECNT Co-Director Shar Molloy.
“It speaks volumes that the Federal Government has intervened yet again in the Northern Territory’s business to prop up a faltering gas industry, which simply cannot compete with the rapid technological advances in renewable energy. Fracked gas is uneconomic, and this is nothing short of a financially risky transfer of public wealth into private hands.”
“Australians should be outraged over this risky waste of taxpayer funds. We are in a unique position to drive economic recovery and this needs to be done with de-carbonisiation at the core of every policy decision, if we are to meet our Paris Agreement targets. Territorians don’t want a fracked, gas-lit future, we want a future powered by renewable energy. We don’t need this kind of intervention from the Feds.”
ECNT urges members of the public to contact their local member and let them know we oppose this use of taxpayers funds, and we don’t want a fracked gas recovery in the Territory.