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Origin AGM a Success

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Courageous Territory landholders are in Sydney this morning to challenge gas giant Origin Energy over claims the company has consent to frack their homelands...

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MEDIA RELEASE: Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

MEDIA RELEASE: Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

A group of Traditional Owners from the Northern Territory are in Sydney this week to challenge Origin Energy over claims it has consent for controversial gas fracking plans across some of the Northern Territory’s most pristine landscapes, waterways and iconic tourism regions.

Traditional Owners, the Protect Country Alliance and supporters will address a press conference prior to the AGM, coinciding with the launch of a national campaign calling on Origin to drop plans to frack the Northern Territory.

PRESS CONFERENCE AND CAMPAIGN LAUNCH:

9.45am Wednesday 17th October, at the Origin AGM, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel.

The Traditional Owners will attend Origin’s AGM on Wednesday October 17th. They will present the company executive with signatures from hundreds of Traditional Owners from Origin permit areas saying Origin failed to adequately consult Traditional Owners on the scale and risks of its gasfield proposals, and that many were excluded from consultations entirely.

A resolution from the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) backs these complaints. It calls on Origin to conduct a review on the adequacy of its consultation process for gas fracking permits in the NT, and to publicly report and act on the outcome of this review.

Large investment funds have been hearing from Traditional Owners in the lead up to the AGM about Origin’s consultation failures and concerns about fracking risks to water, communities and the climate.

Stuart Nuggett has travelled from the remote township of Elliott to attend the AGM on behalf of his community, a region at the heart of Origin’s fracking permit acreage:

“Our communities haven’t been given enough information about what Origin is planning for our region. We are worried about the risks fracking brings. I have concerns over what the impact could be on water. Water is life. I want the company to listen to our concerns and act on them.”

May August is an Alawa grandmother and Traditional Owner for land under the Origin exploration permits:

“We don’t want fracking to start in our area because we have seen the damage Origin and other companies have done elsewhere in Australia.”

“Our homelands are full of bush medicine plants which we harvest for our traditional medicine business, and we run cattle through a community enterprise. Our livelihood relies on lots of good country and clean fresh water, but all that is at risk if Origin forces fracking gasfields over the top of us.”

“This week we are going to speak to the bosses and shareholders at Origin and tell them to stop funding destruction of our homelands. If they don’t listen to us, then we will be speaking to Origin’s customers instead, and asking them to send Origin a strong message by refusing to buy from them.”

“Origin tell their customers they are a ‘good energy’ company but there is nothing good about polluting our air and huge volumes of water to produce dirty fracked gas.”

For photographs and footage of the event or comment and background contact:

Stuart Nuggett, Traditional Owner from Elliott community, 0455 825 512

Stephanie Roberts, Traditional Owner from Minyerri community, 0467 867 153

Background material: Lauren Mellor, Protect Country Alliance, 0413 534 125


Chief Minister; you can’t protect the environment while fracking it

Chief Minister; you can’t protect the environment while fracking it

Gunner Government’s Fracking Implementation Plan Blind and Deaf to Community Concerns

“The problem with the Chief Minister’s fracking implementation plan is that Territorians and impacted communities have rejected the fracking industry, full stop,” said Lauren Mellor, spokesperson for Frack-free NT.

“Territorians don’t want empty promises to mitigate fracking risks. The Gunner Government has a responsibility to protect our land, water and human health by eliminating these risks through a permanent ban on dangerous fracking.”

“Gunner’s fracking implementation plan paves the way for gasfield production, while critical groundwater, health and biodiversity studies have not yet been completed and while communities are being denied a meaningful role in local decision making.”

“The fracking inquiry found that the Territorians from proposed gasfield zones are overwhelmingly opposed to fracking. Trust in the Gunner Government is completely broken because they’re implementing this plan against the wishes of impacted landholders and communities.”

Borroloola elder Nancy McDinny responded to the plan by saying, “If the Chief Minister is so confident his government can manage fracking and protect the environment, why doesn’t he come and visit us in Borroloola where we are dealing with contamination from another government-backed mining project that has failed our community miserably?

“Our community is living proof that the government puts mining profits ahead of people. We don’t trust them to regulate fracking. We will fight for a total ban in our region.”

Miliwanga Wurrben, elder from Central Arnhem Land said, “Our governments knew about the risks of PFAS contaminants since the 1980s but kept this information secret from Territorians.

“The risks of fracking to our water have been well documented. Why is the Chief Minister exposing our people and environment to more problems by pushing the fracking industry, when they can’t even manage the current contamination problems?”

Daniel Tapp, owner of Big River Station near Mataranka said, “The science and lived experience shows you can’t protect the environment and frack it at the same time. The Territory Government has racked up a high failure rate so far on its exploration wells. The NT Fracking Inquiry found Territorians rejected the industry and the government’s capacity to regulate.

“By pushing fracking on unwilling communities, the Chief Minister has lost all trust, and no amount of government spin can hide that fact.”