Alex Kelly - 30 May 2014

As an Alice Springs based resident of the NT I am writing to express my concern at the notion of expanding the hydraulic fracturing industry in the Northern Territory.

I have a number of reasons for my concerns - some local and some global. I have concerns for the environment, community health and for our longer term economic livelihood.

My concerns are:

- Safety of the water supply. Here in Alice Springs we are reliant on underground water for our drinking water and our private and commercial water supplies. In many other places fracking has been demonstrated to contaminate ground water - both through the chemical use during the fracking and due to the amount of water used in the process.

- Safety of country. There has not been an independent scientific and environmental review of hydraulic fracturing in Australia and I am unconvinced that it is a safe means of gas extraction. I am concerned about the potential contamination of country.

- Safety of air and health. My research in to communities that are close to fracking sites shows a rise in health issues such as nose bleeds, eye sores, rashes and respiratory issues. I am very concerned about the health and well being of communities living near gas wells and do not want to see this illness affecting people in my community.

- Climate Change. It is now clear that we are facing rapid and unprecedented climate change. This is a global challenge that will not be met by continuing to expand the fossil fuel industry. We need to curtail our use of fossil fuels rapidly and invest in renewables rather than continue to explore more unconventional sources of fossil fuels such as shale gas.

- Economy. Given the global climate crisis the NT would be much wiser to invest in non fossil fuel based industries. There are huge divestment campaigns happening globally and an increasing awareness by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that fossil fuel based economy is not economically sustainable.

- The benefits will leave the NT. It is very unlikely that the gas or the profits from the gas will see benefits in the NT. As with much fossil fuel extraction the companies which drill will take the profits elsewhere leaving the NT with contaminated water and country and no financial gain.

I am deeply opposed to shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing in the NT.

Permission is granted to cite the author,

Alex Kelly