Over 80% of people surveyed by UComms said they would prefer public money be spent on renewable energy, public health services and increasing income support over new gas infrastructure. The results are released as Empire Energy, the recipients of a $21million government handout backed by both major political parties, commence fracking in the Beetaloo Basin against the wishes of Traditional Owners.
The polling results also reveal that over 74% of people agree that Traditional Owners, local communities and land holders should have the right to say no to fracking. Traditional Owners strongly oppose the proposed projects in the Beetaloo Basin, fronting a Senate Inquiry last month where they gave their personal testimonials highlighting the threat fracking projects pose to desecrate water, land and sacred sites.
Echoing the sentiment of Traditional Owners, over 83% of people surveyed have expressed concern about drilling and fracking in and around water catchments.
GetUp commissioned polling in July 2020 and July 2021, and the results from the September 2021 poll released today displays an upward average trend of 11.9% in support of shifting public money from fracking, protecting water and Traditional Owners consent.
GetUp First Nations Campaign Director, Larissa Baldwin said:
“The Morrison government and Labor have chosen to turn their backs on Traditional Owners, giving public money handouts to gas corporations to frack the Northern Territory. Well, now it appears they are turning their backs on their own constituents too.
“The majority of people don’t want taxpayer dollars lining the pockets of gas corporations, they don’t want drilling near water catchments that are the lifeline of First Nations communities, and they don’t think gas corporations should be able to ignore Traditional Owners consent.
“The major parties haven’t listened to what the majority of the public want when it comes to fracking. Government’s are meant to work in the best interest of the people, though they're showing their allegiance lies with the fossil fuel industry.
“They might want to start listening, because the Australian people are, and Traditional Owners will not stop fighting to protect Country.”
Alawa Traditional Owner, Aunty May August said:
“I’m worried about fracking for our water...stop fracking for our future and land and for our future kids, for our kids to drink that water - we don’t want that to be poisoned”
Polling results available upon request
Spokespeople available for interview:
Larissa Baldwin, First Nations Justice Director at GetUp
Ms May August, Mr Gadrian Hoosan, Ms Joni Wilson, Mr Nicholas Fitzpatrick, Northern Territory Traditional Owners