Skip to main content

End fossil fuel subsidies and $1.9 billion to Middle Arm gas hub

It's currently expected that Labor's May Budget will include $2 billion in Morrison-era gas subsidies that will fast-track fracking in the Beetaloo Basin, destroying Traditional Owners' land, water and our climate.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine King knows that voters expect climate leadership from the new government – so has attempted to paint the Northern Territory subsidies as "sustainable".1

We need to show Minister King, and the entire Albanese Government, that voters won't stand for them holding on to Morrison-era fossil fuel subsidies. And we need to do it ahead of critical decisions in the May Budget.

This starts with a massive petition that local GetUp members will deliver to Minister Catherine King's Ballarat electorate office in a matter of weeks – and we need to back them in with as many signatures as possible.
The Albanese Government is recommitting nearly $2 billion for the Middle Arm gas hub in the Northern Territory.

Middle Arm is a gas industry plan for a massive port and industrial hub on Darwin Harbour.

The ABC obtained the NT Government's original business case for Middle Arm through freedom of information requests. It details how the new hub would pump out petrochemicals using fracked Beetaloo gas that steamrolls the consent of Traditional Owners.2

Tamboran says their fracked gas is destined for Middle Arm and the gas lobby celebrated when $1.9 billion in public funding was announced in the October budget.3,4

After GetUp members – together with Traditional Owners and local campaigners – snapped into action to challenge the subsidy, the Albanese Government greenwashed the project as "sustainable".5 And the NT government quietly scrubbed the word "petrochemicals" from the Middle Arm website.6

For years, Traditional Owners in the Beetaloo Basin continue to staunchly defend their land and water against frackers like Tamboran Resources – who publicly admit Middle Arm would be the destination for their polluting gas.7

Stopping Middle Arm's subsidy-lifeline would throw a spanner in Tamboran's disastrous plans, and bring us one step closer to protecting country from fracking once and for all.

Reputex analysis found that fracking the Beetaloo Basin could use up as much as 27% of Australia's total remaining carbon budget (i.e. Australia's fair share of limiting global heating to 1.5C).8 There is no way to frack the Territory and meet Labor's 43% emissions reduction target.

Want more information? Watch our Don't Frack the NT webinar!
Together, we can keep the heat on the federal government to use the $1.9 billion on projects that Aboriginal communities in the NT have been demanding for decades. For example:
- safer roads
- housing
- Aboriginal controlled services in communities
- renewable energy
- climate adaptation
For two years, GetUp members and our allies raised the alarm over billions in gas handouts from the Morrison Government. It was supposed to be the "gas-fired recovery" but it became a "gas-fired bin fire".9

Through a massive petition, newspaper ads, meetings with MPs and powerful media stories, in October we pushed the Albanese Government to scrap up to $1 billion worth of Morrison-era gas funding. This is a huge win, and it shows that when the community is mobilised, bad decisions can be reversed.
[1] Business case for Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct triggers climate concerns from critics, ABC News, 29 December 2022.
[2] See reference 1.
[3] Tamboran's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer attends Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, Tamboran Resources, 10 October 2022.
[4] Media Release: Booming oil and gas public contribution at risk from energy policy changes, APPEA, 25 October 2022.
[5] $2.5 billion infrastructure boost for the Northern Territory, The Hon Catherine King MP, 16 October 2022.
[6] NT government deletes references to 'petrochemicals' from Middle Arm website, rejects 'greenwashing' claims, ABC News, 26 November 2022.
[7] See reference 3.
[8] Analysis of Beetaloo Gas Basin Emissions & Carbon Costs, RepuTex Energy, October 2021.
[9] 'Gas market trigger won't fix 'bin fire' left by Coalition, energy minister Chris Bowen says', The Guardian, 2 July 2022.


To the Hon. Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure,

CC: the Hon. Anthony Albanese, MP, Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Dr Jim Chalmers MP, Treasurer, Senator the Hon. Katy Gallagher, the Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Climate Change and Energy Minister

Ahead of the May budget we're calling on the government to:

1. Ditch $2 billion in Morrison-era NT fracking subsidies
2. Ensure no new public funds for coal, oil or gas
3. Review all recurring fossil fuel subsidies

24,345 signatures

In taking action, I agree to GetUp's Privacy Policy.