Name withheld on request of author – 26 May 2014

Dear Commissioner,

I am a Territorian strongly opposed to fracking on the basis of:

From a regulatory perspective, the Territory is not ready for this type of industry. Onshore gas projects are regulated by the Petroleum Act and Schedule of Onshore Petroleum Exploration and Production Requirements. Neither of these laws provide adequate protection for the environment or consideration of social and cultural issues. They are not informed by the principles of ecologically sustainable development and do not easily link to the Environmental Assessment Act to ensure adequate assessment is made of an unconvential shale gas proposal. They do not specify environmental standards or include environmental offence provisions . Nor do they include public participation provisions, including the public’s right to say “no” to a proposal, or provide third party appeal provisions.

I call on the Inquiry to examine:

  1. The adequacy of the legislative and regulatory environment.
  2. The environmental, climate and health impacts and risks of unconventional shale gas extraction.
  3. The economic and social implications of unconventional shale gas.
  4. The impact of similar industries in other jurisdictions.

The wider community in the NT should have a right to decide if the Territory is to be subjected to widescale fracking; at the moment I don't believe many people are aware of what is happening. 

Who pays for environment clean up if fracking allows gas to leak into the groundwater?
Do mining companies have the right to come on to any pastoral lease,private freehold or native title landand frack for gas without free, prior and informed consent by thelandholder?

What will happen to the millions of litres of contaminated waste water?

I would like to see a moratorium on all fracking until all of these risks have been properly assessed by independent scientists.