Tavis Wilkinson and Louise Stokes - 28 May 2014

I am writing to express my concern and opposition to Fracking in the Territory. You only need to look to the history of this practice in other parts of the country to assess the risk to our aquifers and environment. Our sole reliance on underground aquifers as drinking water in lower NT should be enough to halt this practice altogether
Right now, Santos have 56 test wells operating in the north-west New South Wales area. From these wells alone, they have reported 16 spills or leaks, including the one which poisoned an aquifer 1  , contaminating a catchment of groundwater, after years of insisting coal seam gas mining poses no threat to the water supply.
Now, it's filled with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels, and has elevated levels of arsenic, lead, aluminium, nickel, barium and boron. And the penalty handed down to Santos? A paltry $1500 fine.

This isn't the only time Santos' CSG projects have damaged the environment. In the Pilliga Earlier this year, 10,000 litres of untreated toxic CSG waste was spilled into the forest. Worse still, Santos failed to report the incident to authorities2 .Alongside uranium, chemicals pumped deep into the ground for CSG mining include methanol, used for explosives; naphthalene, used in napalm; and hydrochloric acid, used to strip metals.

The stakes are simply too high to have these projects run by any company anywhere near our precious groundwater.
[1] Santos coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer. Sydney Morning Herald. March 8, 2014
[2] Govt urged to act after Santos CSG fine. Nine News National. March 8, 2014

Tavis Wilkinson and Louise Stokes