Community Update #30 - 14 February 2018

The Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory (the Inquiry) is this week concluding its final round of regional community consultations on its draft Final Report.

The Inquiry has recently completed its final round of public hearings and heard from 51 groups and individuals that have put forward evidence and commentary to the Inquiry regarding its draft Final Report published on 12 December 2017.

Inquiry Chair, Justice Rachel Pepper, said the public hearings provided the community one of its final opportunities to give evidence and views to the Panel on the draft Final Report.

“At the public hearings in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek the Inquiry was presented with more evidence and feedback regarding our draft Final Report and the 120 recommendations within the report,” Justice Pepper said.

“In addition to public hearings, the Inquiry has also been conducting community forums where the Panel has presented its report to the community, discussed the key elements within each chapter of the report, including the recommendations, and then held round table discussions, with the community having direct access to the Inquiry’s panel members.

“The discussions and the feedback have been highly engaging and informative to both the Panel and the community.”

Justice Pepper has today confirmed all submissions to the Inquiry must be received by 25 February 2018.

“The Panel heard during the community forums that people want to know exactly when submissions must be received by the Inquiry to ensure the Panel has enough time to read, assess and consider the information being put forward,” Justice Pepper said.

“I have committed to handing the Inquiry’s Final Report to government in March 2018, therefore all submissions from the community must be received by Sunday 25 February 2018.

“Given the community demand for a deadline and the large volume of late submissions the Inquiry is continuing to receive, no further submissions will be accepted after this date to allow the Panel to read the submissions and to enable the Inquiry to complete its Final Report.

“To date, more than 1000 submissions have been received by the Inquiry since January 2017.”

The public hearings held in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek were live-streamed on the Inquiry’s website and all presentations to the Inquiry will be uploaded in both video and transcript format in the near future.

“There has been particular interest regarding a presentation at last week’s hearings from Lock the Gate Alliance and a response by the Inquiry and Origin Energy,” Justice Pepper said.

“I can advise this particular hearing’s transcript has been uploaded to the Inquiry’s website and is accessible through our Submission Library.

“All hearings transcripts and videos will be available on our website next week.”

The Inquiry’s community consultation program this week includes visiting the following communities:

  • Tennant Creek
  • Hermannsburg
  • Yuendumu
  • Elliott
  • Jilkminggan
  • Mataranka
  • Ngukurr