Aug 25th 2021

Major parties collude to abandon Traditional Owners on Beetaloo fracking

This afternoon, the Morrison Government teamed up with the Labor Party to greenlight a $50 million handout to the gas industry, abandoning Traditional Owners fighting to protect the Beetaloo and McArthur Basins from fracking.

Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals voted together on Wednesday to oppose a disallowance motion in the Senate that would have scrapped the Government's $50 million Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program. 

The vote comes just a day after the Senate inquiry into fracking in the Beetaloo released its interim report, which added yet more evidence to what Traditional Owners have been saying for decades: fracking corporations do not have consent to frack on Country.

It also comes after over 10,000 GetUp members called their Labor MPs and Senators, urging them to listen to Traditional Owners.

Yanyuwa & Garrwa Traditional Owner Joni Wilson said: 

"Country is important to me because it’s my life. It's part of my body, soul and spirit. It provides food, water and healing. Country is important because I live off my land as my ancestors did. Without our land and our water we are nothing - we're nobody.

"We have not been given any information about fracking, we have not given anyone permission. No one has asked us, and even if our old people had, no one understood what was being asked. So no, we haven’t given permission."

GetUp First Nations Justice Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin said:

"Today Shadow Resources Minister Madeleine King and the Labor Party have chosen to turn their backs on the Traditional Owners of the Beetaloo and McArthur River Basins, and instead side with the Liberal Party and gas corporations. 

"Despite the clear and consistent opposition of Traditional Owners, the damning findings of the Senate inquiry, and enormous backlash from their own constituents, Labor and the Coalition have teamed up yet again to put gas industry profits ahead of Aboriginal communities.

“It’s disappointing to be reminded there is no genuine opposition to an untrustworthy Federal Government. But Traditional Owners in the NT won't stop this fight until Country is protected for good — and neither will we. We will continue holding Canberra to account, and demanding that politicians finally start treating Traditional Owners with the respect and dignity they deserve. That means oil and gas corporations, like Origin Energy, can expect us to continue exposing their destruction and hold them accountable.”

Spokespeople available for interview:****
Larissa Baldwin
, First Nations Justice Director at GetUp
Joni Wilson, Yanyuwa & Garrwa Traditional Owner 

Media contact: Alex McKinnon, 0411 829 334