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The Australia Institute 2 mins read

Public forum to discuss the real economic and health impacts of gas development in the NT

The Australia Institute will hold a public forum in Darwin on Tuesday evening, with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute joined by leading Darwin paediatrician Dr Louise Woodward.

The discussion will explore common claims and misconceptions about the gas industry’s expansion, including employment, tax contributions, and the consequences for our health, other industries and local communities.

WHEN: 6:00pm ACST, Tuesday, October 24, 2023

WHERE: Darwin Railway Club, 17 Somerville Gardens, Parap, NT 0820


Dr Louise Woodward: Darwin Paediatrician

Dr Louise Woodward is a paediatrician who has been working in the Northern Territory for over 12 years after completing her training in Melbourne. She works in the public health system as well as at the Darwin Children's Clinic. She has spent her career advocating for better health outcomes for children in the Territory. As the gas industry expands in the NT, she has become concerned about the toxic effects of fracking and gas processing on the health of Territorians, as well as the health impacts of climate change.

Mark Ogge: Principal Advisor at The Australia Institute

Mark Ogge is Principal Adviser at The Australia Institute. He is widely published on climate and energy issues, specialising in the gas industry and the impacts of climate change, particularly the effects of heat and heatwaves. He also takes The Australia Institute’s research to regional communities across Australia, particularly those most impacted by the expansion of the coal and gas mining. Prior to joining the Australia Institute, he was a director at Beyond Zero Emissions.

“People deserve independent analysis of the health and economic impacts of gas development in the Territory. So far, this debate has been dominated by the gas industry and their consultants,” says Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser at The Australia Institute.

“Some politicians and commentators present a cargo cult view of gas development: that it simply adds jobs and economic activity to the existing economy. In reality, gas development largely comes at the expense of jobs and economic activity in non-gas related industries.

“Gas is often seen as big employer in the NT, mostly because the gas industry talk so much about how many people they employ. In reality, they are a tiny employer, while industries like health, education and services do the heavy lifting on job creation.

“Gas companies operating in the NT pay very little in taxes or royalties but receive enormous taxpayer subsidies. What the territory needs is industries that contribute rather than just seeking ever more subsidies.

“Economic modelling commissioned by the Northern Territory Government’s Fracking Inquiry found all the jobs from fracking in the Beetaloo Basin would be offset by job losses in other industries in the NT and nationally. Gas is a net zero jobs industry.”

Media enquiries: Chris Redman - 0457 974 636 | Mark Ogge - 0421 272 884

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