Water is life. But right now, frackers are moving in on the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and water is at risk of being poisoned before it’s protected. That’s why across the country, people are calling on Tanya Plibersek to fast track stronger water protections to stop them in time!
If fracking corporations have their way, tens of thousands of wells could be drilled in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, leaking toxic ‘forever’ chemicals into our groundwater and releasing millions of tonnes of climate pollution – every single year.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has promised to put stronger water protections in our environment laws – but not until next year, when the damage could have been done. The Minister has the option to introduce these protections right now.
Frackers are on the fast track to pollute our water, so the Minister must fast track stronger water protections to stop them in time.
What’s at risk?
With its super-sized rigs known as ‘mega frackers’, Tamboran Resources is preparing to drill across hundreds of kilometres, use up to quadruple the amount of water than anything else in Australia, inject toxic forever chemicals into the ground, and release millions of tonnes of climate pollution – every single year.
In the United States, thousands of fracking wells were drilled before the regulations caught up. By the time they did, it was too late, and tonnes of cancer-causing chemicals were already in the land and water. Frackers are banking on the same situation taking place in Australia – but we won’t let it happen.
In the Northern Territory, fracking is in the so-called ‘exploration’ phase, where there are very few regulations. There’s no need to consult with Traditional Owners, minimise harm, or even secure a licence before selling fracked gas from exploration. It’s known as “production by stealth” – and sales are about to kick off.
What you can do about it
Traditional Owners and local communities have defended Country from fracking for more than a decade, and thousands of 350 Australia members have signed the petition calling on Minister Plibersek to implement stronger water protection now.
To demonstrate a mass show of support, we’re going to hold events and meet with our local MPs across the country, and deliver our huge petition to Minister Plibersek when it matters most.
In the coming months, we will call for stronger climate protection in our new national environment laws too, because we simply cannot allow any more coal and gas mines to be approved.
Tell me more about our new national environment laws
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is rewriting our national environment laws by reforming the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, and will soon invite the public to share their opinions on what should be included. This consultation process is our chance to ensure that water, Country, and climate has strong protection now and in the future.
However, as Tamboran Resources is about to frack the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, we need to fast track the expanded water trigger ahead of the rest of the reforms, as water is under immediate threat.
If the water trigger is expanded to cover shale gas fracking now, it means that water could be considered to be a ‘Matter of National Environmental Significance’ for these projects. If fracking proposals will – or are likely to – have a significant impact on water, they will undergo more rigorous assessment. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, this process could help delay or even stop fracking activities.
In the coming months, we will call for stronger climate protection in our new national environment laws too. Like making sure the Minister must consider climate change in her assessment and ensuring there’s room for legal challenges to ministerial decisions.
Sign the Petition: Ask Minister Plibersek to fast-track water protections
Dear Minister Plibersek,
Thank you for committing to expand the water trigger to cover shale gas fracking as part of the national environmental law reforms. We urgently call on you to introduce the expanded water trigger now, instead of with the rest of the reforms, in response to the massive and rapid expansion of shale gas fracking in the Northern Territory.
Tamboran Resources is preparing to drill across hundreds of kilometres, use up to quadruple the amount of water than anything else approved in Australia, leak toxic forever chemicals into the groundwater, and release millions of tonnes of climate pollution every year.
If the Albanese Government waits to introduce stronger water protections along with the rest of the reforms, there will already be significant damage to water, land, and climate from shale gas fracking. We therefore urge you to fast track the expanded water trigger and introduce it now.
Thank You for Signing!