The NT Government has lifted its moratorium on fracking.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner today announced the government will allow the development of onshore shale gas industry.
A moratorium had been placed over the industry for the past year has been lifted.
Energy company Jemena has welcomed the decision to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Following today’s decision, Jemena intends to progress its plans to extend and expand the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP).
Jemena expects the work to create around 4000 jobs across northern Australia, with early estimates placing the cost of the project at around $3 - $4 billion.
Jemena’s managing director Paul Adams said the NT had great potential as the future heartland of Australia’s gas industry.
“Today’s decision paves the way towards a well-regulated industry that benefits the people of the Territory while helping to bring much needed additional gas to where it is needed most,” Mr Adams said.
“This is good news for locals who can expect to benefit from additional jobs and training opportunities in the gas industry, as well as Territory businesses who will benefit directly from contracts on upcoming projects.
“This decision now gives us the certainty we need to move forward, and we encourage the Territory Government to maintain pace and move to swiftly implement the inquiry’s recommendations,” he said.
“Provided sufficient and appropriate gas is proven and will be available for transportation, our ambition is to commence preliminary works on the extension and expansion of the Northern Gas Pipeline in 2019.”
Mr Adams said the NGP will be completed by late 2018.
It will initially transport around 90 terajoules of gas, with the extension and expansion of the Northern Gas Pipeline having the potential to bring around 700 terajoules of gas – enough gas to meet the average daily domestic gas needs of Brisbane, Sydney, and Adelaide – to market.
Much controversy surrounded the year long inquiry into hydraulic fracturing.
The Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network has slammed the NT Government for lifting the ban, saying the decision to allow gas companies to frack more than half of the NT will destroy land and water.
Seed national director Amelia Telford said Territorians will not stand down until the NT government bans dangerous gas fracking for good.
“The Gunner Government has betrayed the people of the Northern Territory and Aboriginal communities by allowing fracking companies to poison our water, land and climate,” Ms Telford said.
“No regulations can stop the dangerous greenhouse gas pollution that will warm our climate and make the Northern Territory virtually unlivable in decades to come.”