Ditch Santos sponsorship of Darwin Festival

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Ditch Santos sponsorship of the Darwin Festival 

Open Letter to the Darwin Festival Board,

We love Territory arts. Darwin Festival showcases the very best of our culture and community.

That's why we are so concerned about Santos sponsorship of the Darwin Festival.

Santos has plans to use invasive fracking to access gas deposits across much of the Northern Territory.

Fracking is a high risk mining technique with a polluting track record of water contamination and chemical spills, putting the health of communities and our climate at risk. In its NSW gasfields Santos has a long history of operational failure, including contamination of aquifers, chemical leaks and spills.

In the NT Santos’ exploration licences include coverage of the town of Alice Springs’ only drinking water supply, the catchment for the iconic Mataranka hot springs and come within 75km of Uluru, a major Territory tourism destination and Aboriginal sacred site.

As Territorians, we are united in our opposition to fracking. The Gunner Government’s Inquiry into fracking found: ‘the overwhelming consensus across the NT was that fracking is not safe, not trusted and not wanted.’

Climate change and the need to protect our clean water and environment is one of the greatest challenges we all face. Arts and cultural events like the Darwin Festival have an important opportunity to lead the way on climate action by shifting away from partnerships with polluting fossil fuel companies.

We invite the Darwin Festival Board to meet with concerned artists and supporters to discuss an offer of clean energy and climate friendly sponsorship for the 2019 festival.

By withdrawing from its sponsorship arrangements with Santos, the Darwin Festival would be joining other major festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival and artists in the Sydney Festival. They have taken a strong and principled stand against Santos due to pollution and climate change.

 We love the Darwin Festival. We don’t want to see its good name used as a vehicle for any future ‘artwashing’ by fossil fuel companies which could do irreparable damage to the beautiful Northern Territory.