Angus Elliott – 23 April 2014

To The Commissioner,

I would like to formally express my opposition to hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory for the following reasons.

Hydraulic Fracturing is not proven to be a safe practice despite the claims of industry representatives. Hydraulic Fracturing today is in its infancy and not the same practice that has been utilised since the 40’s and it poses a much greater risk to our environment than it once did.

History has proven that the strict regulation has little effect on environmental incidents occurring in the unconventional gas industry. The real, undeniable cases of sickness and environmental devastation occurring in the United States due to Fracking cannot be overlooked. These are real cases with real people. Not a scare campaign but a list of many cases of individuals against corporations coming off second best and being brushed aside and ignored. In many cases being paid ‘gag money’ as a way to buy the silence of financially desperate people with little choice.

Can the entire life cycle of unconventional gas in this part of the world present less greenhouse gas emissions than oil or coal?

The ACOLA report that the oil and gas industry like to refer to is not quite tailored to be pro fracking but it was never going to oppose it. Of course it would all be safe in a perfect world where each well would never fail. Each evaporation pond would never be subject to a stationary tropical low dumping 800mm of rain in 3 days and overflowing toxic waste3 into our rivers. Each truck would never suffer a roll over. And last but not least, each site was geographically and geologically guaranteed to not allow methane, radium or uranium deposits to seep into aquifers and contaminate water supply.

I particularly oppose fracking because it has potential to cause harm to my home. I oppose a system of government and industry that suggests that I need to join forces with other concerned residents and prove beyond doubt that fracking is a danger to my home before they will consider holding off. Where in a real and just system, my government should represent me and my fellow residents and make the unconventional gas industry prove beyond any doubt that they won’t cause any harm to my home before they are allowed to drill a single well.

It’s referred to as progress. NT, Outback Australia… A natural marvel and an untouched environmental jewel… Yet, carving it up with roads, pumping it to the gills with toxic chemicals and covering it with evaporation ponds in the name of capital injection, infrastructure development is called progress. Not in my book!

Angus Elliott