Social & Community Cohesion

Communities seem to carry most of the burden of fracking and remote communities like those in the NT are at high risk.

  • Communities are ignored as much as possible in decision making
  • Social, emotional and spiritual impacts people will experience from what they see happening to their Country are not considered
  • Communities carry the risks to their culture and way of life
  • Communities get all the negative side effects from the industry and associated Hi vis culture
  • Communities carry most of the health risks
  • Many of the problems occur after the fracking companies leave, things like legacy leaks and water table pollution


As one experienced researcher I correspond with put it the outlined SREBA ‘will not suffice as it will not address the
underlying health vulnerabilities of communities, and will not come close to the kinds of social, emotional and spiritual impacts people will experience from what they see happening to their Country’.

This is not just a case of the fracking industry being at risk but this industry damages local economies as it did in Miles in QLD and it also poses great environmental risks especially to water. It is not only the actual costs of fracking but the damage it does  to other industry sectors and the lost opportunities for genuine growth in industries like renewables that need to be considered.


There are lots of examples where the so called “Hi Vis“ culture leads to behavior and outcomes not conducive to the atmosphere tourists look for and there are lots of examples where this culture impacts on things like Tourism.  This was a constant theme mentioned in discussions during the “Frack finding tour” PCA facilitated in 2019.

Disruption of local communities and their economy can be severe. In the US there have been lots of reports highlighting the negative impacts on communities The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report 2020 is one example.  It shows how communities suffered much of the negative impacts of fracking and the ongoing problems.

Existing gas developments in Australia rely on the use of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforces. Wide ranging social impacts include a decline in local resident populations with less essential services and volunteer organisations, reduced community cohesion, detrimental impacts on local businesses, and social problems such as violence and crime in ‘host’ communities.1


1 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia. Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive in, drive-out workforce practices in regional Australia; Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2013. Queensland Parliament: Infrastructure, Planning & Natural Resources Committee, Inquiry into fly-in, fly-out and other long distance commuting work practices in regional Queensland, October 2015; West Australian Parliament, Education and Health Standing Committee.