Traditional Owners confront Origin at AGM

Image: Lock the Gate via Twitter

Large crowds gathered outside Origin Energy’s annual general meeting yesterday morning (October 16) protesting the company’s fracking practices in the Northern Territory.

It’s reported around 30 Traditional Owners from across the Northern Territory were present, addressing Origin’s CEO, Chairman and Board of Directors that the company did not have consent to frack on their land.

Several Traditional Owners were also approved to attend and address the AGM.

Concerns surround the detrimental environmental impact fracking will have on the Beetaloo Basin region.

Traditional Owners also say Origin’s consultation process with them has been inadequate, a claim Origin disputes.

Origin Chairman Gordon Cairns said at the AGM any future production developments in the Beetaloo Basin will only be undertaken by Origin following negotiation of a Production Agreement with the Traditional Owners, as recognised by the Northern Land Council.

“When I was recently in the Beetaloo to meet with our Traditional Owners, it was made clear to me that only they can speak on behalf of their land,” Mr Cairns said.

“And they asked me if they could do so at our AGM, a request that I thought was reasonable and appropriate.”

Traditional Owner Gordon Jackson then addressed the meeting.

It’s believed that 70 per cent of the shale gas in the Territory is in the Beetaloo Basin. Origin says its interests in the NT cover three exploration permits over 18,500 km squared, about 600 km south of Darwin.

So far, Origin has drilled four wells and plans to drill two more in 2019.

“These wells will help us to determine how viable the gas resource is in these areas,” Origin said in a statement.

Read Origin Energy’s Chairman and CEO addresses at the AGM here.

The Nothern Territory Government was also recently criticised for overlooking the emissions impact of fracking in a recent climate strategy report.