Same Old, Same Old

Letter written on behalf of GetUp to various government ministers regarding fracking in the Betaloo. The middle bullet-point section is the standard material suggested by GetUp, the rest is my own. Please write and add your voices. As usual, they will mostly ignore and “know better” – but they don’t deserve to do that without some of us telling them what’s on our minds.

Dear Minister

Fracking is a fossil fuel extraction practice which is particularly impactful on the natural environment and human communities. I am alarmed to hear you are allowing the importation of fracking equipment to begin extraction of the Betaloo basin, especially as it is against the express wishes of the traditional owners of the area – have we learnt nothing from the land grab of colonisation and how can we call them traditional owners and then not follow their wishes for their ancestral country? This is the kind of lip service that makes me ashamed to be Australian, although of course it’s par for the course of the business as usual which destroys native habitat, Indigenous country, sacred sites and artworks around the world.

Why do you elected politicians never step up and stop these kind of harmful practices? Do you forget that you are supposed to represent the community, and that this is not the same as maximising dollars? Where is your backbone and your moral leadership – or is that kind of thing in the past for major party politics in Australia? No wonder voters are deserting major parties in droves.

Like other concerned voters, I urge the Albanese Government to act quickly to implement the recommendations of the Senate NT fracking inquiry report, including:

  • Federal cultural heritage laws to protect sacred sites
  • Amend environment laws to expand the water trigger to include fracking
  • Ensure frackers are accountable for climate pollution across the life cycle of their gas
  • Hold an inquiry into Middle Arm gas hub, destination for Beetaloo gas

In addition, I call on the government to:

  • Listen to Traditional Owners in the Beetaloo Basin saying no to fracking on their Country
  • Scrap $2 billion in public money for Middle Arm gas hub, which will fast-track destructive gas fields

I write this letter as a concerned citizen, as a taxpayer who is sick of seeing the money I contribute abused, and an Environmental Science/Biology professional who had to become a private conservationist of native remnant vegetation because under the governments of all the decades since I was a young Environmental Scientist in the 1990s, remaining remnant vegetation has continued to decline through clearing for “development”, neglect and mismanagement, all the while with greenwashing and obfuscation going on in the public arena. The shameful extinction forever of native Australian species only continues as a result of dereliction of duty by the people in charge of this country, who could change it but are more interested in business and re-election than they are in the health of the fragile planet that carries us all. I am extremely disappointed by the performance of the new Federal government in this area.

A serious re-think on your behalves is necessary – wake up: Greenwashing won’t save us from ecological and civilisational collapse. Major changes are required in our way of life not to “de-carbonise” but to actually stop being high-energy using, wasteful consumers, and live less senseless and senselessly destructive lives.

Yours sincerely

Sue Coulstock

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