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April 17, 2021

Origin fracking plans taken to task at SCU event

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Origin Energy’s plans to frack the Northern Territory came under fire during a Southern Cross University (SCU) alternative-fuels event last week.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers members say they attended the SCU event, EnergyLab Northern Rivers: Embracing Electrification and Alternative Fuels, which included a representative from corporate sponsor Origin Energy.

Philippa Cutter from Gasfield Free Northern Rivers said, ‘It’s important to highlight the dodgy plans Origin Energy has to frack the Northern Territory, without the consent of traditional owners and the community at a time when the planet is facing a climate crisis’.

‘While we support the work of EnergyLab and particularly enjoyed hearing about the work… we believe it’s important to call out Origin’s attempts to present itself as a clean-energy company, while it is in fact poised to pollute some of Australia’s most unique places with fracking’.

Origin replies

An Origin Energy spokesperson refuted claims that it does not have consent of traditional owners and the community, yet did not deny that it holds exploration permits in the Northern Territory.

They told The Echo, ‘We have been working with our traditional owners on sacred site clearances.’

Amanda King from Gasfield Free Northern Rivers added the Origin spokesperson at the SCU event was asked if ‘Origin would be prepared to leapfrog fossil fuels, embrace renewable energy and storage solutions.’

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  1. Yes – I was there. It’s not a good look for
    Origin energy any way it’s seen. I’d like
    to know if Amanda’s question is ever
    going to be answered by Origin but I do
    reckon I’ll be waiting a while into the
    future. Do we need to ‘banner stand’
    again… & call ‘Origin Energy don’t
    frack the NT!’

  2. Thanks for the story, but from a Northern Territory perspective its very clear that Origin Energy do not have the consent of a large majority of Traditional Owners and registered Native Title holders for its exploration permit areas. These groups have been vocal and public for two years now objecting to Origin’s conduct in refusing to engage with key landholders and affected groups that are critical of its fracking plans. Origin’s agreements were formed in the early 2000s when very little was known about the risks of hydraulic fracturing. While some elderly people have been coerced into signing documents, they have since made clear that they didn’t understand the scale or risks of proposed gasfields, and were told the impact to country was likely to be just ‘one or two holes drilled, the size of a billycan’. This is disgraceful and dishonest behaviour from a company that trades on keeping landholders in the dark about its fracking plans.

    Origin routinely lie about having consent from other landholders too. In the company’s Environmental Management Plan for a first frack well to be drilled on Hayfield cattle station it states it enjoys a close working relationship and has land access agreements with numerous pastoralists on ‘host’ cattle stations. However a recent Supreme Court challenge lodged by one pastoral company challenges this, stating Origin never consulted the landowners about its activities. Many other local pastoralists listed as ‘cooperative’ have been public in the media and to government stating they will never sign an access agreement to allow fracking onto their stations because of the risks to water security, pollution and productivity. You can hear more from these landholders here and take the pledge to help stop Origin’s fracking plans too – https://www.protectcountrynt.org.au/origin_pledge


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