Media Release 20 February 2017

The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory released a Background and Issues Paper today, ahead of its Territory wide community consultation program commencing in March 2017.

Inquiry Chair, Justice Rachel Pepper said the purpose of the paper is to facilitate a discussion between the Inquiry Panel and Territorians.

“The Issues Paper (2.0 mb) identifies the potential risks of the hydraulic fracturing of onshore unconventional reservoirs and associated activities in the Northern Territory, within the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry,” she said.

“The paper includes information about the differences between conventional and unconventional gas, coal seam gas and shale gas, and the locations of prospective shale gas reservoirs in the Northern Territory.

“It also provides an overview of prior reports produced on hydraulic fracturing as well as an outline of the regulatory framework for hydraulic fracturing and the petroleum industry in the Northern Territory.”

Justice Pepper is meeting with key stakeholder organisations this week such as, the Environmental Defenders Office, Lock the Gate, Frack Free Alliance, Arid Lands Environment Centre, AFANT, Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, Northern Land Council, Central Land Council and industry including AAPEA, Origin and Santos.

Justice Pepper said the next step in the Inquiry’s process is hearing from Territorians and that there are many ways for people to participate in the Inquiry’s community consultation program.

“We want to know from the community and organisations if the issues identified in the Issues Paper have been properly identified and whether there are other issues for the Inquiry to consider going forward,” she said.

“The Issues Paper is available on our website, and in the next few days we will have an online feedback form allowing people to submit their comments electronically.

“We will be visiting 15 locations across the Territory next month to speak with as many Territorians as possible.”

Justice Pepper said the consultation program next month includes formal hearings and community meetings.

“We look forward to hearing from individuals and organisations during hearings and to sharing information and engaging with people at the community meetings.

“Registration is now open on our website for hearings and communities meetings in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin.

“If you are unable to attend either of these forms of consultation this time, then we encourage you to write to the Inquiry, lodge a submission, or go to our website and have your say on the issues and themes outlined in the Issues Paper.”

The first stage of consultation includes the major centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin, including the Darwin rural area, as follows:

  • 6 March 2017 – Alice Springs (hearings and community meeting)
  • 7 March 2017 – Tennant Creek (hearings and community meeting)
  • 8 March 2017 – Katherine (hearings and community meeting)
  • 9 March 2017 – Darwin and rural area (community meetings)
  • 10 March 2017 – Darwin (hearings)

Go to the registration page for more information.

The second stage of community consultation will occur in the following communities 20 March – 29 March 2017 as follows: 

Monday 20 March

Maningrida

Monday 20 March

Gapuwiyak

Monday 20 March

Nhulunbuy

Tuesday 21 March

Ngukurr

Tuesday 21 March

Borroloola

Wednesday 22 March

Daly Waters

Thursday 23 March

Mataranka

Friday 24 March

Timber Creek

Monday 27 March

Wadeye 

Tuesday 28 March

Yuendumu

Wednesday 29 March

Hermannsburg

More information and registration for these communities will be available soon.

Media contact: Claire Sprunt 0439 180 828