To The Commissioner,
Re: EP(A)219, EP(A)255, EP(A)257, EP167, EP189
I am writing with concerns regarding the application for
exploration over the afore-mentioned areas in our region, either
granted or pending. There has been no information or notification as
yet to the people of and living in these regions from NT Gas, nor the
NT Government regarding the aforementioned applications. We are
concerned about the lack of scientific studies to guarantee safety and
security of our water, soil and air.
The following are questions we need answers to in order to
feel safe about the prospect of Shale Gas production in our region:
- Who will/or has performed baseline environmental studies before explorative drilling occurs?
- Does the Petroleum Act require these studies?
- If yes, will they be done by an independent company (absolutely no affiliation with unconventional gas extraction)?
- If baseline studies have met (best world practice) then will the government enforce periodical environmental studies?
- Will these studies perpetuate beyond the life of the gas field?
- How can you guarantee that there will not be a point of
contamination by the gas field (to groundwater, surface water, soil,
fauna, flora or air) whereby the gas field may be deemed too great an
impact that closure is the only outcome?
- If contaminants indirectly or directly related to the
shale gas extraction process are found, then who will be held
accountable? Is the company held accountable?
- And what of limited liability or company closure?
- Is there a bond the company is required to pay?
- How much is the bond?
- Is this figure realistic if the outcome of shale gas extraction is hazardous?
- Will the government take full accountability if the company fails to do so?
- Who will guarantee the security of our water, air and soil safety?
- Are there peer reviewed long term independent scientific studies of Shale Gas extraction?
- Have there been any peer reviewed independent scientific studies done on tropical/subtropical/dry savannah regions?
- How will the contaminated water byproducts from shale gas extraction be stored in a wet/dry tropical region?
- Will the water be released into the land/rivers/ocean by process of dilution during the set season?
- Has there been any scientific peer reviewed independent
studies done on water release by dilution during a monsoonal rain or
- What will be the implications of having a gas field within an area that requires bushfire management as land management?
- How will bushfires be managed safely with regards to possible gas leakages during production and the future of expired wells?
- Are there any peer reviewed independent scientific
studies done in a region where bushfires are essential to the
regeneration and management of the land?
- Are the casings of expired wells absolutely guaranteed not to leak? (Metal rusts and concrete becomes permeable over time.)
- Again who is accountable if these guarantees are made and fail?
- Who can guarantee future use of the land in an expired gas field?
- Will the area still be viable for future generations
for agriculture, tourism, living, town expansion, pasture, indigenous
land use, fishing hunting, camping etc?
- Who will be responsible for future health effects directly or indirectly related to shale gas extraction?
- Who will monitor possible effects before they become hazardous?
- What independent scientific health studies will be taken out perpetually from the onset of shale gas extraction?
- If there are any ill health effects related to the
extraction process and of expired gas fields, who will be held
- How will people be compensated for loss of health, lifestyle, livelihood, and land price declines?
Answers to all of the above questions are essential before there can
be any consideration of shale gas exploration or extraction. As
members of the Northern Territory community who live with and on this
land we need answers before we can feel safe living amongst a gas
field. Shale gas extraction has been occurring for decades in the USA
already with many implications to health, land, water and soil.
What guarantees can you provide for residents and landowners in the
Northern Territory that similar problems will not occur here?