“Traditional Owners of the Gundanji and Garawa nation do not consent to fracking in the Beetaloo basin, but the government has put $50 million towards doing it anyway,” said DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe, the Greens Senator for Victoria.
“These are communities that don’t even have access to proper health and housing infrastructure. As a government, it’s our job to provide this and instead of doing that we’re paying private companies to poison their waters and destroy their lands.
“This violates the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Australian government has signed up to. This Declaration guarantees First Nations people the right to approve or deny projects happening on their country before the project begins.
“We need First Nations justice to achieve climate justice. I’m disappointed in Labor's support to disrespect the wishes of all those Traditional Owners they say they support. Shame."
The Greens spokesperson for Mining & Resources, Senator Larissa Waters said, “The Greens-initiated Senate inquiry into the $50 million fracking slush fund heard from Traditional Owners across the Northern Territory, deeply concerned about gas extraction in the Beetaloo Basin.
“They told us that they had not been consulted in any meaningful way by this government, or by the companies so eager to pillage Country. They told us they were worried for their water, for their kids and for their access to cultural practices. But their valid concerns were ignored when both big parties voted to support public money going to new fossil fuels in a climate crisis, without First Nations consent.
"The Greens have had a bill since 2012 to ban fracking and to give First Nations, farmers and other landholders the right to say no to gas fracking.
“Yesterday, Labor had the opportunity to be on the right side of history and vote with the Greens against this dodgy program. But they sadly sided with the Liberals.
“We’ll give Labor one more opportunity to do the right thing by First Nations people, water and the climate when we bring a second and final disallowance motion to a vote in the Senate in October.”