NT station owner wants protection from frackers | Katherine Times | Katherine, NT

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NT station owner wants protection from frackers

Daniel Tapp speaks to an anti-fracking rally outside Parliament last year.

Big River Station manager Daniel Tapp says landowners will be in a weaker position to negotiate with energy companies after proposed NT laws pass.

Public comment on the draft Bill dealing with proposed fracking industry land access reforms closes today.

Mr Tapp, a leader of the anti-fracking movement who runs a station on the Roper River, says the draft Bill leaves landholders in a weaker position when negotiating with gas companies.

Organisations like the Lock the Gate Alliance claim the proposed Bill fails to implement a key Pepper Inquiry recommendation for a legally enshrined right to an access agreement in legislation.

Mr Tapp said: “Right now we’ve got a serious power imbalance with fracking companies bullying landholders for access to explore for oil and gas on cattle stations and farms.

“We’ve got few legal protections for the value of the land, water security, or our businesses.

“Our strong advice to the NT Government is that this draft Bill will disadvantage landholders against the gas giants, and fails to faithfully implement its own Fracking Inquiry Recommendations. It must be strengthened if pastoralists are to have any confidence in the NT Government’s petroleum regulatory framework going forward.”

Mr Tapp said pastoralists are concerned that water-hungry gasfields are not compatible with a safe and productive cattle industry in the Territory.

The proposed legislation is still to go before a government committee before then being put before the Parliament later this year.

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