In an open letter to Parliament that has been signed by nearly 25,000 people, Traditional Owners from the Gudanji, Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Jingili, Mudburra and Alawa nations have voiced their opposition to the Morrison Government's proposed $50 million in grants to help gas and mining corporations exploit the Beetaloo Basin.
"Giving $50 million to mining corporations for an 'economic recovery' to start drilling will only line the pockets of huge corporations who want to take more then we're willing to give. It does nothing but hurt us, our communities and our country more," the letter reads.
"We will not allow you to cause any more pain, hurt or division in our communities. Hear us when we say - we won't allow fracking gasfields on our country. Not now. Not ever."
GetUp First Nations Justice Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin said:
"Traditional Owners have come together to send a clear message to the Morrison Government: there must be no fracking in the Beetaloo Basin.
"All over Australia, First Nations people have seen their country desecrated by mining and fracking operations. Sacred and culturally significant sites have been destroyed. Groundwater has been poisoned. Habitat has been razed. And time and time again, the wishes of Traditional Owners have been ignored and overriden.
"Even as the Government shells out $50 million for gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin, First Nations communities are chronically underfunded. After years of empty promises, basic services like housing, healthcare and education are still not being provided.
"As both the Liberal and Labor parties line up with mining and fracking giants, the people are standing with the communities on the front line, demanding we protect country and work together for a safe climate future.
"If Parliament is serious about upholding the rights and dignities of First Nations people, it will listen to the Traditional Owners of the Northern Territory and reject the Morrison Government's handout to the fracking industry."
Media contact: Alex McKinnon 0411 829 334
Larissa Baldwin, First Nations Justice Campaign Director at GetUp
Gadrian Hoosan, Yanyuwa and Garrwa Traditional Owner