Gas ban lands alongside review
A scientific review and moratorium on hydraulic fracturing begins in the NT today.
The Northern Territory's recently elected Labor chief minister Michael Gunner announced the ban at an oil and gas summit in Darwin.
“I announce that the Government will as of today implement this election commitment to introduce a moratorium of hydraulic fracturing of the Territory's unconventional gas resources,” Mr Gunner told the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference.
The moratorium comes on the same day as the terms of reference for the inquiry into hydraulic fracturing were launched.
Mr Gunner has urged any interested public and industry players to comment.
“You know better than anyone that our continued ability to expand the resources industry is completely dependent on the social approval and license of the people of the Northern Territory,” he told those at the oil and gas summit.
“If we do not gain and keep the trust of Territorians we will not be able to progress our economic agenda.”
The terms of reference require the panel undertaking the inquiry into fracking in NT to go over piles of scientific evidence.
They will review potential effects on ground water, surface water, geology, ecosystems, human health, current and future land uses, emissions and ecotoxicology.
The panel is also seeking ways to make sure the industry meets best fracking practice, assess mitigation and rehabilitation methods used during fracking, and provide ideas for research to improve gaps in scientific understanding.