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NT Government plan to let Big Business take our water 

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The Northern Territory is known around the world for its iconic free-flowing rivers. But the future of our rivers is at a crossroads, and we need your help to avoid a Murray-Darling future in the Top End. 

The Lawler Government will soon announce a series of plans which will allow huge amounts of extra water to be taken from our precious rivers and groundwater systems for thirsty industries like cotton and fracking. They will also lead to a rush of new dams on floodplains. This will see massive amounts of water taken from rivers such as the Daly, Roper, and Victoria and will threaten our fishing, tourism, local communities and our Top End lifestyle.  

Thousands of people have already spoken out against these plans. These plans are not supported by communities, are not based on science and will send water policies in the Territory further in the wrong direction. 

Here’s what’s in the NT Government’s plan: 

  • Dams on our Floodplains 
    The ‘Surface Water Take -Wet Season Flows Policy’ and ‘Interference With A Waterway Guidelines’ will allow big business to take huge amounts of water for thirsty industries like cotton, through ‘floodplain harvesting’ – taking water from our floodplains and wetlands before it even reaches the riverbed. This is the same troubling approach that led to the demise of the Murray-Darling and could be disastrous for Territory Rivers. 
  • The Beetaloo Water Plan 
    The Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan for the Beetaloo Basin will hand out more water to Big Business for fracking and cotton than ever before in the Territory’s history – equivalent to half of Sydney Harbour per year. This could risk the health of our aquifers and iconic rivers such as the Roper and Daly systems. 
  • The Mataranka Water Plan 
    The Tindall Limestone Aquifer sustains the iconic springs of Elsey National Park, Rainbow and Bitter Springs and keeps the Roper River flowing through the dry season. What’s proposed would allow the aquifer to be lowered by 80 per cent over a 100-year period. 

Our communities are strongest when we stand together – and right now we need to tell the Lawler Government that this is not what we want for our rivers. 

It’s vital we get this right now. That means listening to communities, strengthened protections for rivers, floodplains and aquifers, and a guarantee that no more water is taken. 

Write to Eva Lawler today and ask her Government to keep our Territory rivers flowing. 

Take action

Send a message to:

  • Hon. Eva Lawler – NT Chief Minister
  • Hon. Kate Worden – NT Minister for the Environment and Water Security
  • Hon. Mark Monaghan – NT Minister for Agribusiness and Fisheries
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