Sharon Scurr – 5 May 2014

To The Commissioner,

I'm making this submission as a concerned member of the public.

My name is Sharon Scurr and I am a Territorian. I have lived in the Territory for 12 years. My home is in Darwin.

I live here because I enjoy the weather, the lifestyle, the work opportunities, and our beautiful pristine, natural environment.

I am a public servant (I work for the NT Government, in education). I also work on a casual basis as a bus driver for the Inpex workers.

I am not opposed to mining gas using conventional methods, but I am totally opposed to hydraulic fracturing ('fracking').

From what I've read and seen fracking is invasive and environmentally unfriendly. The fracking process poses a great risk to our water supplies (particularly our precious artesian water), agriculture, and human health and well-being.

Not only is fracking extremely water intensive (requiring, and wasting, millions of litres of water per single frack), the process produces wastewater which is poisonous (containing chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive materials).

As if that's not bad enough, my other major concern is the fracking infrastructure itself.

Because one shale gas well does not produce much gas, one shale gas mining operation (one shale gasfield) typically contains thousands of wells.

These wells are all connected by a vast network of gas pipelines, access roads, processing plants, compressor stations, wastewater holding dams and treatment plants.

As you can imagine this vast network covers the entire landscape. Not only is it ugly and invasive, it has proved problematic for landholders and deadly for local fauna. The pipelines are laid out in such a way that they prevent wildlife and farm animals such as cattle from roaming freely over these vast landscapes, so they are unable to source vital food and water. Landholders such as graziers and farmers are inconvenienced by having to travel for kilometres around the gasfield to access their properties.

For these primary reasons, in my view fracking should not be allowed in the Territory at all.

I cannot envisage fracking being done safely, therefore the concept of 'best practice' is null and void. A moratorium on fracking is the only outcome from my perspective and will certainly alleviate the concerns of many Territorians.

Sharon Scurr