Name withheld on request of author – 27 May 2014

Dr Hawke,

I do not live in the Northern Territory but I am an Australian concerned about mining companies wanting to explore for gas and petroleum using hydraulic fracturing.

I am concerned about the effects of this insidious process on the natural environment; on human and animal health and on the relationship between indigenous people and the land.

Hydraulic fracturing uses vast amount s of fresh water, depleting domestic water supply for local communities and reducing availability for agriculture and farming and for native flora and fauna.
During the process of hydraulic fracturing ground water can be contaminated by methane and by volatile chemicals.
Surface contamination can occur from spills and flow back.
Flow back or produced water contains high amounts of salt, organic compounds and metal concentrations.
What becomes of contaminated waste water, salt deposits and abandoned mining sites after production has finished?

Air contamination can occur from methane production and from particulates released into the atmosphere during transportation of the product.

Noise pollution is produced by drilling and trucks.

Increases in seismic activity, due to hydraulic fracturing, has also been recorded.

Health effects include: respiratory problems and skin conditions; high blood pressure; heart disease; insomnia; infertility; birth defects and cancer.  These effects have been seen in different parts of the world ( including Australia) in relation to hydraulic fracturing. 

Aboriginal sacred sites are at risk and "ties to country" are broken by dispossession and exclusion from areas of land taken over by mining companies. 

There are losses of recreational areas and areas of natural beauty and wonder.
How does this effect outback tourism?

I am an ordinary Australian.  A mother, grandmother and former registered nurse.  I'm not an expert  on this matter but I can read and I have seen the photos and heard the stories from communities affected by hydraulic fracturing.  This is a heartfelt plea to PLEASE make the NT hydraulic fracturing free and focus instead on renewable energy production that doesn't pose intolerable and unnecessary risks to the environment and to health.

Thank you for your time and I apologise for any misinformation I may have put forward in this submission.Yours sincerely