Jun 23rd 2021

Senate inquiry into Beetaloo fracking a massive win for Traditional Owners

The Senate's vote today to establish a Parliamentary inquiry into fracking in the Beetaloo Basin is a massive victory for Traditional Owners all across the Northern Territory.

Traditional Owners from the Gudanji, Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Jingili, Mudburra and Alawa nations have been fighting against the Beetaloo fracking expansion ever since the Morrison Government announced it earlier this year. 

In an open letter to Parliament — which was co-signed by more than 35,000 people — the Traditional Owners vowed "to put an end to the ongoing threat of fracking on our countries, which will denigrate and desecrate our lands".

Last week, Yanyuwa man Nicholas Fitzpatrick, Gudanji Garawa man Asman Rory, Yanyuwa & Garrwa woman Joni Wilson and Alawa woman May August travelled to Canberra to meet with Senators, asking them to vote for an inquiry into the Morrison government's $50 million handout to the gas industry. 

GetUp First Nations Justice Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin said:

"This inquiry is a massive victory for Traditional Owners and First Nations communities across the Northern Territory.

"Ever since the Morrison Government announced its $50 million handout to help the gas industry pillage the Beetaloo Basin, Traditional Owners have united to fight against it. They received support from tens of thousands of people across Australia, and have catapulted this issue into the national spotlight.

"Last week, Traditional Owners travelled halfway across the country to Canberra, where they met with Senators and Members of Parliament and urged them to listen to the concerns of First Nations communities.

"Today is proof that their words have had an impact. Now the Morrison Government — and the entire country — will hear from the people who this fracking will affect most: the Traditional Owners and their communities.

"In their open letter to Parliament released earlier this year, Traditional Owners said: 'We won't allow fracking gas fields on our country. Not now. Not ever. This is our land, and we're ready to do whatever it takes to protect country.' 

"Today's vote goes to show: the fight is on."

Media contact: Alex McKinnon 0411 829 334

Larissa Baldwin
, First Nations Justice Campaign Director at GetUp