Tamboran Resources can’t be trusted with our water. Right now, in the middle of the wet season, Tamboran is using open ponds at risk of flooding to store their toxic frack waste water. Earlier this year, hundreds of dead fish washed up downstream from multiple fracking sites, with heavy metal detected through water testing.

In 2022 they were fined for using 300,000 litres of untreated wastewater to suppress dust ahead of big rains. Contractors came forward to share that they were instructed to keep spraying drill water despite Tamboran knowing it was contaminated. In the same year a bund wall broke at the site during flooding, spilling sediment and potentially toxic chemicals down towards a sacred waterway. Investigations were also launched for what appeared to be the alleged pumping of possibly contaminated water into a cattle breeding paddock.

New water protections introduced in December 2023 expanded the water trigger to cover shale gas fracking. 

The water trigger is a law within the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act that requires any large coal mining or coal seam gas project that may have significant impact on water resources to be referred to the regulator for assessment.

Fracking requires very large volumes of water and represents a significant risk of contamination and dewatering. Water resources at risk in the Beetaloo include:

  • Numerous groundwater sources that will be drilled through to reach the shale
  • The Cambrian Limestone Aquifer which is targeted for significant water extraction for fracking
  • Multiple surface water sources including the sacred waterway Newcastle Creek and surface water sources connected to the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer (eg the Roper River and Mataranka Hot Springs). The project would be built upstream of Lake Woods - the NT’s largest freshwater lake and a place of immense cultural significance for Traditional Owners


[1] Tamboran Resources buys Origin Energy's Beetaloo Basin gas exploration stakes, ABC News, 20 Sep 2022

[2] Gas projects to require Commonwealth approval after Labor-Greens deal expands water trigger, ABC News, 7 Dec 2023