On 3 December 2016 the Northern Territory Government announced an independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory.

The Inquiry is investigating the environmental, social and economic risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as fraccing or fracking) of onshore unconventional gas reservoirs and associated activities in the Northern Territory.

Chairing the Inquiry is the Honourable Justice Rachel Pepper. Justice Pepper will oversee a panel of 10 scientists with expertise in disciplines such as water, geology, ecology, health, sociology and engineering.

Community consultation is a critical component of the Inquiry. Go to Have your Say for information about how to submit your feedback to the Inquiry and for information about the latest and upcoming community consultation activities.

Inquiry Interim Report Out Now

Read the report

Latest news

7 November 2017: Inquiry confirms Indigenous Agreement Solutions (IAS) has been appointed by Coffey to undertake further engagement in communities within the Beetaloo Sub-basin and surrounding areas. This will delay the draft Final Report and Final Report. Read the full update.

27 October 2017:  The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory (Inquiry) has released ACIL Allen Consulting Pty Ltd’s (ACIL Allen) independent economic impact assessment of a potential onshore unconventional shale gas industry in the Northern Territory (NT), The Economic Impacts of a Potential Shale Gas Development in the Northern Territory (report). Read the full update.

16 October 2017: The Hon Justice Rachel Pepper, refutes claims made in today’s ABC Radio National coverage to the effect that the Inquiry supported calls for an investigation into former Chief Minister Adam Giles’ subsequent employment by Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (Hancock). Read the full update.

07 October 2017: The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory (Inquiry) would like to express its profound dismay and concern at the comments allegedly made by Cross Cultural Consulting (CCC) as aired in a story by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) today. Read the full update.


On 14 September 2016 the Northern Territory Government announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of onshore unconventional reservoirs including the use of hydraulic fracturing for exploration, extraction, production and including Diagnostic Fracture Injection Testing (DFITs). 

The moratorium will remain in place during the Inquiry.