The Northern Territory Government has just determined that hydraulic fracturing of onshore unconventional shale gas reservoirs may proceed under very strict conditions, in tightly prescribed areas. On Friday the NT government established the ‘Onshore Shale Gas: Community and Business Reference Group’ in response.
After considering the final report of ‘The Final Report of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory’, The Northern Territory Government has supported the 135 accompanying recommendations, including the nature and extent of identified risks within hydraulic fracturing.
A key feature of the report (which was released in March 2018) highlighted a robust and trusted regulatory framework to be the principal way by which the government can safeguard any onshore unconventional shale gas industry can advance in a manner which preserves the surrounding environment in addition to meeting community expectations.
In response to ‘The Final Report of the Scientific Inquiry’ Honourable Justice Rachel Pepper said “These risks have been analysed to the best and most current available relevant scientific evidence. This has included the evidence received from stakeholders and the public during the Inquiry’s extensive consultation process.”
The purpose of the Onshore Shale Gas: Community and Business Reference Group are to provide:
- advice on the implementation framework and it’s execution guidelines to ensure that the framework aligns with community and industry expectations.
- a forum to share information and provide opportunities for cooperation, and collaboration with key stakeholders and the community.
- a medium through which key stakeholders can communicate their views about the implementation framework and its subsequent execution directly to the Northern Territory Government.
“The establishment of the reference group ensured key stakeholders had oversight and input into the development of the implementation framework and its subsequent execution,” said Chief Minister, Michael Gunner.
“This reference group is a significant part of the Report, and offers an important channel for engagement with representatives of various stakeholder groups.”
The varied Onshore Shale Gas: Community and Business Reference Group members were allocated with intentions of bringing a range of skills from the community, environmental groups, local business, the Gas industry and local Government, with equal input constructively contribute to the process.
Members of the Onshore Shale Gas: Community and Business Reference Group include:
Mr Denys Stedman (Chair) – Buy Local Advocate
Mr Jimmy Cocking – Director, Arid Lands Environment Centre
Mr Matt Doman – Director, SA and NT, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
Ms Julie-Ann Stoll – Manager – Mining, Central Land Council
Mr Greg Bicknell – Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce
Ms Gillian Duggin – Principal Lawyer and Executive Officer, Environmental Defenders Office
Mr Geoff Crowhurst – Chair, Katherine Mining Services Association
Ms Fay Miller – Mayor, Katherine Town Council
Prof Alan Cass – Director, Menzies School of Health Research
Mr Michael Bridge – Chairman, Tourism NT
Mr Joe Morrison – Chief Executive Officer, Northern Land Council
Mr Paul Burke – Chief Executive Officer, NT Cattleman’s Association
Mr Greg Owens – Chief Executive Officer, NT Farmers
Mr David Ciaravolo –Executive Officer, Amateur Fisherman’s Association of the NT
Mr Damian Hale – Organiser, Australian Workers Union
More information can be found at: https://frackinginquiry.nt.gov.au/