Territory taxpayers won’t pay for high-risk fracking industry
Chief Minister Michael Gunner is spending millions in taxpayer funds to subsidise and promote the fracking industry across the NT - while local communities go begging for basic healthcare and services.
With the NT facing the twin threats of an unprecedented public health and budget crisis in 2020, we simply can’t afford to let fracking companies swindle the Territory, taking the profit overseas while local communities are left to clean up the mess.
Production of fracked gas in the NT is at least five to ten years away from paying any return in royalties, but taxpayers are already paying through the nose to subsidise an industry the government's own independent Inquiry found would produce 'less than 500 jobs over 25 years, minimal revenue, and be unlikely to be commercially viable.'
The current public health and budget crisis should spark a re-examination of all funding decisions - starting with the decision to pursue high cost, low return fracking.
The NT Government is continuing to spend substantial public funds to subsidise the fracking industry, including:
- Over $7 million spent on the two public inquiries highlighting the risks of fracking.
- Millions spent on petroleum surveys for gas exploration.
- Millions spent in advertising and promotion of the fracking industry.
- Up to $500,000 on a pre-feasibility study for a Beetaloo - Darwin pipeline for fracked gas, despite exploration companies exiting the NT due to huge financial losses.
- The cost to our highways and remote roads from thousands of heavy trucks causing damage to Territory infrastructure and impacting tourist areas like Mataranka and Katherine.
- An expensive carbon offsets policy for pollution from fracking, estimated to cost upwards of $4 billion over 10 years.
- Millions more will be spent on the costly regulatory and legislative overhaul needed to implement the Inquiry's 135 recommendations, taking up yet more public service time.
The evidence is in; fracking is a money-losing industry that pollutes land and water and makes people sick. Globally, oil and gas markets are crashing and bankruptcies in the fracking sector are mounting, taking local economies down with them.
We can’t let the gas-addicted Gunner Government make the same mistake here.
Chief Minister Gunner, we the undersigned call on you to rule out any more taxpayer spending on the fracking industry. You must instead protect the people, environment and economy of the Northern Territory.
Chief Minister Gunner, we the undersigned call on you to rule out any more taxpayer subsidies to the fracking industry to protect the environment and economy of the Northern Territory.