Greens introduce Water Trigger Bill today, urging Government to deliver on fracking loophole promise

Australian Greens

Today Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will introduce her Expanding the Water Trigger Bill 2023 to the Senate, closing the loophole which gives gas corporations a free pass on fracking projects like the Beetaloo Basin.

The Greens have urged the Government to deliver its promise to act on the water trigger this year, offering their balance of power numbers in the Senate to expedite the amendment. The Greens are working closely with Sophie Scamps MP in the lower house who has a similar bill.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is the Greens Spokesperson for the Environment & Water and Manager of Business in the Senate:

“Water is life, but right now a legal loophole means fracking corporations have a license to drill without regard for our rivers, the climate or the voices of Traditional Owners.

“That’s why today the Greens are introducing our Water Trigger bill to the Senate to close this fracking loophole. This Bill ensures that before fracking companies can risk our rivers and waterways, they must undergo the same independent environmental assessments as other gas projects.

“If the Government backs our Bill, the Greens will use our numbers in the Senate to close this loophole immediately, working with Sophie Scamps MP in the lower house.

“Fracking companies are threatening to exploit this loophole right now in places like the Beetaloo Basin.The risk of damage to our waterways and climate would be irreversible. The Beetaloo Basin is a climate bomb, emitting up to 25% of Australia’s annual greenhouse emissions.

“The Government should listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and deliver on its promise to act this year.

“I want to thank Minister Plibersek for our constructive discussions so far and for our correspondence. Australians voted for climate action at the least election. We urge the Government to work quickly with the crossbench to get this done now.”

Attached: Letter to Minister Plibersek from Senator Hanson-Young offering to expedite the Water Trigger amendment, 13 September 2023

The Beetaloo Basin would increase emissions by up to 117Mt a year, the equivalent of a 25% increase on Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Fracking poses a serious environmental risk to places including water sources like the mighty Roper River, the Mataranka Hot Springs and the Fitzroy River catchment in the Kimberley.

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