The Northern Territory Government has established an independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory.

The inquiry will investigate 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 to submit your feedback online and for information about hearings and community meetings across the Territory in March 2017.

Latest news

27 April 2017: Submissions on the Background and Issues Paper released by the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory close on 30 April 2017. Read the full update.

18 April 2017: The independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory has released a public tender for an independent economic impact assessment of the potential onshore unconventional gas industry in the Northern Territory. The tender closes on 4 May 2017 and can be viewed here.

27 March 2017:  The independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory will this week conclude its first stage of community consultation, which has seen more than 1000 people participate in formal hearings and community information and engagement sessions across the Territory. Read the full update.

20 March 2017: Due to inclement weather in Darwin and Maningrida preventing the scheduled flight departure this morning, coupled with unforeseen circumstances in the community and therefore out of respect, the Inquiry’s meeting in Maningrida today has been temporarily postponed. 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.