Aboriginal elders seek fair fracking hearing from Hunt

SIMPLY STUNNING: Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park.
SIMPLY STUNNING: Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. NT Tourismaap

NORTHERN Territory traditional owners met with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Tuesday in a bid to block oil and gas fracking in Watarrka National Park.

The park is about 300km south-west of Alice Springs and includes the popular tourist spot Kings Canyon.

The ABC reported that three traditional owners who jointly managed the park told Mr Hunt the NT Government had ignored their application to protect the park from an exploration bid by Palatine Energy. They urged Mr Hunt to declare an emergency heritage listing for the park.

David Morris from the NT Environmental Defenders Office said the traditional owners met with Mr Hunt for about half an hour "and it was a good meeting".

"Since 2012, when that application was first made aware of to the Land Council, traditional owners have consistently expressed their opposition to all kinds of oil and gas development in the park," Mr Morris said.

"It raises serious questions about whether resource extraction is compatible with the conservation values of national parks in this country."

Mr Ross accused NT Chief Minister Adam Giles of making unsubstantiated claims of divisions among the traditional owners.

Topics:  aboriginal elders environment fracking indigenous land rights oil and gas

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