A rotten decision: Northern Territory fracking go-ahead to put safe climate future further out of reach for Australians

03.05.23 By
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The Climate Council has condemned a Northern Territory Government decision to proceed with dangerous fracking projects, including the highly controversial Beetaloo shale gas field.

The highly polluting development is projected to emit the equivalent of more than three times Australia’s annual domestic emissions over the next two decades. 

The Northern Territory Government has today announced the controversial development can go ahead, despite outstanding questions over its environmental and emissions impact, and lack of any credible plan to implement the recommendations of the inquiries the Territory Government itself committed to. 

Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said: “The Northern Territory Government must have missed the part where the world’s scientists said any new gas or coal would blow our chances of limiting warming to 1.5C. Loudly and repeatedly. 

“Fracking stinks and the Beetaloo project is a disaster. The Albanese Government – which was elected on a platform of strong climate action – should step in to stop it. Doing nothing will put Australia’s climate targets and their own promises to the community out of reach.

“Fracking is horrific for the planet, people, animals and trees. Companies that frack have a shady track record of trampling all over First Nations Peoples’ rights. And it’s incredibly toxic for human health. Frankly, this decision stinks.

“The argument that gas is ‘cleaner’ than coal is outrageous. Make no mistake that gas is a polluting fossil fuel that is driving climate change and subsequent climate disasters.”

The Climate Council says all new fossil fuel projects should be put on pause until the Federal Government can properly assess them under a stronger, reformed Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).

The Albanese Government committed to reform this Act in December last year. 

“The Albanese Government needs to fast track its reform of the EPBC Act, so that these carbon bombs can be properly dealt with by federal law. This work is moving far too slowly when we are in the critical decade for climate action. While we wait, climate wrecking projects are getting waved through at the state and territory level. Every week of delay is putting a safer climate further out of reach.”  


For interviews please contact George Hyde on 0431 330 919 or george.hyde@climatecouncil.org.au or Jane Gardner on 0438 130 905 jane.gardner@climatecouncil.org.au 
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil