Tourism operators speak up to ‘go gasfield free’ and protect our icons

POSTCARD LAUNCH: Territory tourism operators and businesses today launched a new Gasfield-free Territory Tourism campaign in Katherine.
POSTCARD LAUNCH: Territory tourism operators and businesses today launched a new Gasfield-free Territory Tourism campaign in Katherine.

Northern Territory tourism operators and businesses today launched a new Gasfield-free Territory Tourism campaign in Katherine.

The postcard-based campaign highlights the risks fracking gasfields will have on our vital tourism sector and the iconic regions people love to visit.

A series of postcards demonstrating Territory tourism icons under threat from fracking plans were launched to coincide with the start of the busy tourist season.

Local tourism operators and businesses will be displaying the postcards in stores and on tour.

More than 1000 have already been collected.

“Our brand image as an unspoilt destination with clean flowing waterways underpins the strong growth of our industry,” said Petrena Ariston, owner of Top Didj Cultural Tours in Katherine.

“We are proud of the sustainable and positive contribution the Territory’s tourism sector makes to the economy and our communities.

“Right now our national parks, waterways, fishing and tourism icons like Uluru, the Mataranka Hot Springs and Roper River are largely surrounded by permits for fracking gasfields.

“Tourists who have witnessed the devastation of unconventional gasfields in QLD are always telling us, ‘Make sure it doesn’t happen in the Territory.’

“In launching our Gasfield-free Territory Tourism postcards, we give all our visitors the chance to help protect the places people love to visit across the Territory.

“We want to clearly demonstrate the concerns of our visitor base and our sector – that fracking gasfields are too big a risk to our image as a clean, green and pristine part of Australia to visit. The only way we can have certainty on our investments, jobs and the long-term viability of our vibrant tourism sector is to see fracking banned,” she said.

Reg Ramsden of Remote Educational Tours servicing Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and Uluru said, “Fracking is not compatible with Territory tourism where visitors come to see a pristine environment. Our region hosts many unique plants and it’s a very fragile arid landscape; water is critical. If companies start fracking around our national parks they will frack all that up.”

Deb Moore, owner of Mataranka Homestead adjacent to the popular hot springs, said, “We know the health of our waterways and beautiful spring country is what brings thousands of tourists to the region. With fracking gasfields across the landscape all that would be gone.”

Rob Woods, owner of Ethical Adventures hosts tours across many Top End tourist icons: “Fracking will upset the delicate balance of our hydrology, affecting our hot springs, water holes and recreational fishing. It will impact the biodiversity and abundance of our wildlife. Gasfield industrialisation also risks the sense of remoteness and freedom that people love holidaying in the Territory for.”

“Fracking plans are a threat to our vital sector and the environment we all rely on. Tourism provides jobs for 12% of the NT workforce and 8.1 % of the NT GDP. Its madness to put all this at risk for a short-term industry which has neither been proven safe nor economic.”

Thousands of postcards will be collected by tourism businesses across the Territory and delivered to Parliament at the end of the season..