Gas mining hurts our land and water, and it’s communities who are paying the price | David Pocock

Gas mining hurts our land and water, and it’s communities who are paying the price | David Pocock

Traditional owners and farmers are fighting for their land while their own government bankrolls the companies mining it

For many of us, the mention of “the Kimberley” or “the outback” conjures up images of iconic, ancient Australian landscapes. Red soil, endless plains, rugged ranges and spectacular gorges. It is also home to the world’s oldest living cultures. An ancient landscape inhabited for over 50,000 years, maybe closer to 100,000. That long living in a landscape, having a relationship with a place, is almost impossible to comprehend for an immigrant like myself. It’s no surprise that First Nations people are leading the battle to protect their land; to protect this incredible continent of beauty and wonder we are lucky enough to call home.

New gas projects threaten vast tracts of country and communities across Australia – from Western Australia’s stunning Kimberley to the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo and New South Wales’s Pilliga forest. A recent analysis revealed a single fracking company cleared so much native vegetation for geological seismic testing in the Kimberley that, if it was assembled in a straight line, it would be a road that stretched from Perth to London. Last week, traditional owners from the heart of the Northern Territory were in tears during a Senate inquiry into the Morrison government’s use of taxpayer funds to prop up the economically questionable forays of the fracking industry into the Beetaloo.

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