Community Update #11 - 24 May 2017
The independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory has awarded ACIL Allen Consulting Pty Ltd (ACIL Allen) the tender to undertake an economic impact assessment of the potential onshore unconventional shale gas industry in the Northern Territory.
The Inquiry Chair, Justice Rachel Pepper said that ACIL Allen demonstrated significant relevant experience and expertise.
“ACIL Allen have demonstrated use of leading practice methodology on complex economic modelling projects that relate to the development of onshore petroleum resources,” Justice Pepper said.
“There were six tenders submitted, all of which were carefully assessed against current Northern Territory Government procurement processes. As Chair of the Inquiry, I was a member of the tender assessment panel. The tender process was also overseen by an independent probity advisory.
“ACIL Allen will be required to provide a final report to the Inquiry by 1 September 2017.
“This timeline ensures that the Inquiry’s Final Report to the Northern Territory Government will be handed down by the end of the year, as previously stated.”
The economic assessment to be undertaken by ACIL Allen is a wide ranging study focussing on the actual and potential direct and indirect economic benefits, impacts and risks of hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas development in the Northern Territory under the current regulatory regime.
ACIL Allen must consider the following scenarios in making the assessment:
- Scenario 1, or the baseline scenario, where the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of unconventional shale gas reservoirs remains in place;
- Scenario 2, which involves the development of the onshore unconventional shale gas industry in the Northern Territory; and
- Scenario 3, which involves the development of unconventional shale gas reservoirs in the Beetaloo sub-basin only.
ACIL Allen will also be required to liaise with a wide range of stakeholders in the Northern Territory to consider the impacts of onshore unconventional shale gas development on other industries, such as, tourism, agriculture, horticulture and pastoral.
The cost of the ACIL Allen tender is $287,719.88.
The Inquiry’s second tender, for a social impact assessment of any potential onshore unconventional shale gas development in the Northern Territory, closed 17 May 2017.
Finally, Justice Pepper said the Inquiry is re-scheduling community meetings in Yuendumu and Maningrida, which were postponed in March 2017.
“The Inquiry will hold a community meeting in Yuendumu on Monday 29 May 2017, to discuss the risks and issues outlined in the Background and Issues Paper,” Justice Pepper said.
“We will then be visiting Maningrida on Tuesday 30 May 2017, to consult with that community.”
A second round of public hearings and further community engagement will take place after the Inquiry releases its Interim Report mid 2017.
A draft Final Report is expected to be published towards the end of the year, with the Final Report to be handed down to the Northern Territory Government by the end of the year.