Don’t frack the Outback

The campaign targets the NT government around Fracking: "The Government is trying to fast-track major fracking and gas infrastructure projects in the Territory. We need your support to help stop dangerous new fracking and pipeline projects to protect our land, water, air and climate."
Don't Frack the Outback


Don’t Frack the Outback. The Government is trying to fast-track major fracking and gas infrastructure projects in the Territory. We need your support to help stop dangerous new fracking and pipeline projects to protect our land, water, air and climate.

Donate to the campaign to help stop fracking.
As you read this, two gas companies are drilling in the Beetaloo and gas infrastructure projects are being planned for the Northern Territory, despite scientists and economists warning that gas has no role in Australia’s recovery. The Government wants to fast-track these controversial projects against the wishes of Traditional Owners and local communities – and they’re trying to do it with billions of dollars of public money. Gas is a bad investment and won’t create the jobs our communities need. If these proposed gas projects are drilled, fracked and piped, we’ll have fast-tracked our way to a climate-cooked world and decades more debt. ALEC plays a critical role in the movement to stop fracking in the Territory. Over the past 9 years alongside partner groups and the people most affected, we have supported and run campaigns and helped mobilise the community. ALEC is raising funds to make sure these dangerous new fossil fuel projects don’t go ahead in the NT and to build momentum for a solar-powered future for our communities. Donate to the campaign to help stop fracking.

Don’t Frack the Outback
With 95% of the Northern Territory currently under application for exploration for petroleum and gas, the vast expanses of the Australian Outback are facing an unprecedented threat. Since 2011, hundreds of millions of dollars have been expended on exploration, including some of the largest onshore seismic programs undertaken in Australia. This recent growth is being driven by exploration for unconventional (shale) gas and associated oil reserves. Similar to Coal Seam Gas in the Eastern States of Australia, shale gas is a form of unconventional gas that specifically employs the process of hydraulic fracturing. ‘Fracking’ releases gas trapped buried kilometres deep in underground shale rock layers. As of 2015, hydraulic fracturing is being applied on a mass commercial scale to shales in the United States, Canada, India, China, England, some parts of Europe and now Australia. The United States provides an advanced example of industrial scale unconventional gas production, and recent studies provide mounting evidence of health and environmental impacts. Increasingly unconventional gas production (including coal seam gas, shale and tight gas) is facing growing global community resistance with countries like France, Scotland, and Wales having banned the practice. A number of states and cities in the US have also banned the practice, and in Australia Victoria currently has a moratorium on fracking in place. Here in the Northern Territory community resistance to the shale gas industry and the process of hydraulic fracturing is also growing. Community groups opposed to the industry include Don’t Frack the Territory, Don’t Frack Katherine, The Central Frack Free Alliance as well as the traditional custodians of the Borroloola, Maningrida and Watarrka communities. The Arid Lands Environment Centre has been at the forefront of raising awareness and making public representations against the unconventional gas industry and the process of fracking in Central Australia.

• ALEC is calling for a moratorium on the issuing of all exploration licenses until the process of hydraulic fracturing can be proven to be safe.
• ALEC joined members of the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance to demand the release of the NT Hydraulic Fracturing Report, out the front of Chief Minister Adam Giles Office in February
• ALEC has hosted film nights and public meetings since 2013, met with government officials and industry representatives, and is a member of the NT Frack Free Alliance.
• ALEC has supported the development of the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance community group and provides in-kind support to the Central Australian Frack Free Coordinator position.
• ALEC has also made a submission to the NT Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry, which was commissioned by the NT Government in March 2014. Commissioner Alan Hawke oversaw the Inquiry and handed the report to the government in December 2014. The report was made available to the public in March 2015, essentially giving a green light to the shale gas industry if regulations were improved in the NT. The NT currently has the weakest environmental protection regulations in Australia.

In a media statement ALEC and the Environment Centre NT expressed their disappointment on the findings: ” The release of this report confirms what we have been saying all along. The regulatory framework in the NT is not strong enough to ensure that our precious aquifers are protected from fracking. We maintain our calls for a moratorium on shale gas exploration until it can be proven safe.’ said Jimmy Cocking Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre. “It is not satisfactory to have inadequate environmental protection measures in place whilst the shale gas industry is allowed to continue to develop unbridled by proper environmental regulations. This clearly places gas company profits ahead of the risk of causing environmental damage which is difficult to reverse.” said Anna Boustead, Acting Director Environment Centre NT.” You can look at all the public submissions made to the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry here.

ALEC’s concerns on the practice of fracking include:
• potential contamination of groundwater upon which the NT is primarily dependent
• depletion of fresh water and millions of liters of water usage
• possible degradation of air quality and local noise pollution
• possibility of process triggering earthquakes
• migration of gases and chemicals to the surface
• contamination of environment with spills and flow back
• possible health effects on people and animals
• land degradation, and habitat fracturing and loss
• waste water disposal
• lack of environmental regulations
• lack of baseline data before operations commence
• industrialisation of the Outback

Join the NT community and say “Don’t Frack the Outback”!
• Donate to the campaign via the ALEC Gift Fund –
• Account name: ALEC Gift Fund, BSB: 633 000, Account number: 1343 58688, Reff: “your name” CAFFA
• Please email [email protected] to receive a tax deductable tax receipt.
• Write a letter expressing your concerns to the NT Chief Minister and Minister for Mines and Energy
• Join the Central Australian Frack Free Alliance (CAFFA) by emailing [email protected]
• Like the CAFFA Facebook page and keep updated
• Educate yourself and spread the word
• Help organise a film night or fundraiser in your community

Useful Websites:

No Fracking Pipeline
ALEC has been a strong advocate against the proposal to develop a gas pipeline from the Northern Territory to the Eastern States. Development of any gas pipeline will be a green light to the shale gas industry in the NT, opening up the market for mass unconventional gas production. On October 31 2014, Chief Minister Giles hosted a meeting of interested parties in developing a pipeline to connect the undetermined amount of shale gas, accessed by the controversial method of fracking to the national gas grid. A number of options are canvassed that see the pipeline connecting to the grid in Queensland but the preferred option is from Alice Springs across the Simpson Desert to the Santos Moomba gas field in north-eastern South Australia. The proposed pipeline is to be built by 2018 and has the backing of the gas industry, the NT Government, Federal Government and the NSW Government. This is marketed in the Territory as the ticket to wealth and infrastructure as part of the NT Government’s development agenda. But to many of us it is a short-term energy solution that risks the groundwater upon which we all depend on out here.

The talk of a pipeline has stimulated movement in the industry with a commitment by Central Petroleum to supply Incitec Pivot with 15 petajoules of gas for 10 years. Central Petroleum occupies much of the southern Northern Territory with exploration projects and oil production wells at Surprise near Kintore and gasfields at Magellan in Palm Valley and a production licence for Dingo about 50km south of Alice Springs. Central Petroleum will be a huge beneficiary of any pipeline connecting gas to the national grid. The challenge for the project is that most of the gas that is already being sold can only be accessed by using the process of fracking. There is growing evidence that fracking is not safe and can have a serious impact on groundwater. The impact of fracking on local communities including remote indigenous communities and pastoral properties is likely to be immense. The push to weaken land rights and open access to farming properties across the Territory is a major concern. The Territory and Federal Governments are rushing through fossil fuel development applications when we need to be focused on developing our renewable resources. NT Government information about the pipeline proposal can be found at

Unfortunately, the NT Government has already chosen its direction and it is sell it off, dig it up with little or no concern for the environment or the people who have to carry the risks of the industry. The Petroleum Act does not provide any confidence in the environmental monitoring and compliance of the industry. It is ALEC’s intention to bring to the attention of the wider community in Alice Springs and across the country that the proposed pipeline connecting the NT to NSW is a bad idea that should be disbanded. Stopping the construction of the gas pipeline is an essential component of the campaign against shale gas production and fracking in the NT. Stand with ALEC and say “No Fracking Pipeline!”.

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Campaign Details

Group Leading this Campaign: Arid Lands Environment Centre

Campaign Target Type: ,

Who this Campaign is Targeting: The Government| NT Government

Main Issue of the Campaign:

Campaign Ran From: 2015 to 2020

Campaign Outcome:

Year Outcome Assessed:

Geographic Range of Activity:


Don’t frack the Outback