Locals voice fracking objection
Indigenous people from remote parts of the Northern Territory says they have not given permission for Origin Energy to frack their land.
Origin Energy has secured approvals for test fracking in the gas-rich Beetaloo Basin from traditional owners through the Northern Land Council, and the Northern Territory Government.
But some traditional owners say they did not give their “free, prior and informed consent”.
They say that when Origin sought permission, some locals did not fully understand the company's explanations of processes or the true the size of developments.
“The letter that we're bringing up to Origin, we want that to be recognised, and to be respected for who we are,” Alawa traditional owner Naomi Wilfred has told the ABC.
“I'm worried about fracking because of our water. Water is life, it's our main one. It's keeping our land alive.
“We've got bush tucker and bush medicine out there and we want to keep it safe.”
The Sydney-based Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility has sent the traditional owners to attend Origin Energy’s annual general meeting this week.
The meeting should see a resolution put forth by 100 shareholders calling on the company to “commission a comprehensive review of whether free, prior and informed consent of Aboriginal traditional owners and communities … has been established”.
While the resolution may not gain enough shareholder support to pass, it is likely to raise awareness among shareholders and investors.
“Even where a shareholder resolution doesn't pass, because of the scrutiny applied to a particular issue, in this case consent, you often do see changes within a company to even a low vote,” the Centre's Executive Director, Brynn O'Brien said.
The Northern Land Council said it had “consulted with the right people and the right people have given consent about those permits”.