A meeting of landowners in Katherine last night expressed alarm they had not been consulted about plans for a gas pipeline between Tennant Creek and Darwin.
The gas pipeline is key to transporting any Beetaloo shale gas to markets.
Pipeline builder Jemena last week unveiled plans to invest over $5 billion" to increase the capacity of its Northern Gas Pipeline while also working to extend the pipeline from the Beetaloo Basin to the east coast, at Wallumbilla Gas Hub in Queensland.
The NT Government says the development of a pipeline to transport gas from the Beetaloo Basin to Darwin is critical "to fulfil the Territory's gas vision".
Landholders in Katherine said they were surprised a contract had been awarded by the NT Government to plan a route for a pipeline to bring onshore gas from the Beetaloo Basin to Darwin.
The $327,000 tender was awarded to CNC Project Management Pty Ltd in September.
Last night's meeting was held at the Clyde Fenton Multipurpose Hall and landholders resolved to write a letter to Chief Minister Michael Gunner expressing their concern they have not yet been consulted about the proposed pipeline.
It comes the day after the NT Government released tenders for the massive "Gas and Strategic Minerals Precinct for Middle Arm" that would be fuelled by fracked gas taken from the Beetaloo Basin via the Tennant Creek Pipeline.
The decision to release tenders was made despite growing concern from Native Title holders, economists, farmers, and environmental groups over the development of an onshore gas industry.
Leading Katherine mango producer, Marie Piccone, told the meeting she was keen to discover whether any risk assessments were being done by the Government "to ensure that we see no adverse impacts" from the proposed pipeline.
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the Territory landholders who attended the Katherine meeting were understandably concerned.
"Farmers are worried their produce will sustain reputational damage if a giant fracked gas pipeline is ploughed through their properties," he said.
"They are also worried because in the NT, we still do not have laws that protect farmers from third party liability if something goes wrong involving gas company infrastructure.
"Native Title holders along the proposed pipeline route have also raised concerns with the Chief Minister that the pipeline may damage sacred sites in their area.
"We also know the world is quickly moving away from fossil fuels, and there is a serious risk that projects like fracked-gas pipelines will become stranded assets as demand dries up.
"Gas pipelines simply aren't worth the economic, social, or environmental risk. We should be celebrating and promoting our reputation for producing clean, uncompromised food in the Territory, not putting it at risk for fracked-gas pipelines that are barely economically feasible even with the injection of public funds."
The proposed pipeline would transport gas through Tennant Creek, Elliott, Newcastle Waters, Daly Waters, Larrimah, Mataranka, Katherine, Pine Creek and all the way to Middle Arm near Darwin.
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