Community Update #21 - 6 October 2017

The closing date for submissions in response to the independent Scientific Inquiry’s Interim Report will be 9 October 2017.

Inquiry Chair, the Hon Justice Rachel Pepper, noted that the Inquiry has received over 470 submissions and was now focussing on completing its draft Final Report.

“Submissions are integral to the Panel’s evidence gathering process. Any organisation, stakeholder or member of the public is welcome to provide evidence to the Panel by 9 October 2017,” Justice Pepper said.

“Submissions can be made in writing via email, post or the ‘have your say’ page on the Inquiry’s website”

Since the release of the Interim Report on 14 July 2017, the Inquiry has undertaken an extensive community consultation program.

This included public hearings and community forums from 31 July to 12 August 2017 in six locations with more than 60 hearing submissions received. Additionally, the Inquiry has undertaken remote and regional community forums from 22 August to 1 September 2017 in 13 locations.

Justice Pepper said the Inquiry would continue its submission review process in the coming weeks ahead of the expected release of the Draft Final Report in early November.

“While I had anticipated to release the draft Final Report by the end of October, due to the extensive nature of the community consultation together with the large volume of submissions, the release date will be early November,” Justice Rachel Pepper said.

Justice Pepper said the economic impact assessment of a potential onshore unconventional shale gas industry in the Northern Territory by ACIL Allen Consulting (ACIL Allen) and the social impact assessment being undertaken by Coffey Services Australia Pty Ltd (Coffey) were nearing completion.

“The assessments being conducted by ACIL Allen and Coffey will be uploaded to the Inquiry’s website immediately upon completion,” Justice Rachel Pepper said.

In May 2017, ACIL Allen was engaged through a public tender to complete an economic impact assessment, while in June Coffey was awarded a tender to undertake a social impact assessment.

“I wish to assure members of the public that following the release of the draft Final Report, further consultation will occur to allow the public to make any further and final submissions they wish to make to the Inquiry,” Justice Pepper said. 

“The next round of consultation will involve further public hearings in Darwin, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Katherine and community forums with regional and remote stakeholders”

“These will commence in the second half of November 2017.”

The Inquiry expects to complete its Final Report by the end of 2017.

For more information visit or contact the Hydraulic Fracturing Taskforce: by phone: (+61) 08 8999 6573; or by email: