Territory Labor’s continued support for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is bad news for the oil and gas industry and those who would benefit from its planned near-term investment of more than $1 billion in developing the Northern Territory’s onshore gas resources.
APPEA Director South Australia/NT Matthew Doman said planned investment of more than $1 billion between now and 2020 could not proceed with a fracking ban in place.
“This policy is disappointing and unnecessary,” Mr Doman said.
“The science on fracking is already in. The facts have been confirmed time and time again by independent, scientific inquiries – from the Australian Council of Learned Academies, the NSW Chief Scientist, the UK’s Royal Society, the US EPA, to the Hawke inquiry here in the NT.
“Australia’s Chief Scientist has said: ‘the evidence is that, if properly regulated, it’s completely safe.’
“This moratorium threatens the creation of thousands of new jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payments to Traditional Owners and tens of millions of dollars of work for local businesses in the regions that will host industry activity. Improvements to roads and other shared regional infrastructure would be put on hold.
“There is no doubt industry and government must do more to address the genuine questions many in the community have about the impacts and benefits of the gas industry – especially in areas where we have not previously operated. But this is an issue of better communication, not science, and we can do that without a moratorium.
“APPEA’s member companies planning investment in the NT will now consider the impact of the policy.
“But let’s be clear. Fracking has a 40-year track record of safe, sustainable use in Australia. Without it, the further development of the Territory’s onshore natural gas resources is impossible.”