Many people still question whether an on-shore gas industry in the NT will produce the sorts of jobs needed to rescue the local economy.
The 6000-job claim has resurfaced again in recent weeks, even after it was roundly criticised during the Pepper inquiry into possible development of the industry.
The jobs claims clearly anger opponents to fracking for gas who say it is being used as "convenient spin" by governments and others.
"The 6000 jobs figure was proven to be incorrect by the final report of the Government's own NT Fracking Inquiry report," Project Country Alliance spokesman Graeme Sawyer said.
"It's astounding the NT Government continues to use a figure that has been researched by the Inquiry and shown to be completely incorrect.
"This is typical of gas fracking companies and pro-fracking governments - they inflate jobs figures to astronomical levels despite knowing the truth is much less impressive," he said.
Estimates of the employment benefit from an onshore shale gas industry vary from 500 to over 6000 new jobs, depending on the scale of development, according to the gas industry's advocate, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
APPEA NT director Keld Knudsen said its own Deloitte study in 2015 found that under the highest growth scenario new gas fields is in the Territory had the potential to create up to 6300 new jobs and generate up to a billion dollars in additional government revenue over the next 20 years.
"This scenario was accepted by the Pepper Inquiry and acknowledged in the final report of the inquiry," he said.
"Like Deloitte, the report by ACIL Allen for the hydraulic fracturing inquiry is based on a scenario of what an industry 'could' look like. Their analysis finds that shale gas development could create more than 500 new jobs sustained over 25 years, boost the NT economy by $5.8 billion and generate up to $3.7 billion in taxes and royalties for the Territory over the same period.
"The ACIL Allen analysis is a conservative model which is at odds with the demonstrated experience of the gas industry in other states and uses smaller development scenarios than the industry believes are likely. For example, initial developments envisaged by just three companies could exceed all of the gas production modelled in this report.
"Clearly a larger scale development, which industry believes is likely, would deliver an even bigger boost to population as workers and their families relocate to the NT to take up employment opportunities created by the development of the Territory's gas resources.
"Even the Protect Country Alliance agrees that the scale of the industry could be bigger. In a recent submission to the NT Government they noted that the estimates of the reserves in the Beetaloo have "increased to 500 trillion cubic feet". The scenario modelled by ACIL would be less than 2% per cent of that resource.
"Opponents of natural gas development swap scenarios as it suits them. The reality is, that getting on the ground and undertaking exploration will allow everyone to understand the actual scale of the resource and the benefits that they can deliver.
"And whether it's hundreds of jobs, or thousands of jobs, they are still jobs and families that the Territory desperately needs," Mr Knudsen said.
The first permits for exploration to continue have just been issued after a moratorium was lifted by the NT Government.
The only experience of gas jobs comes from Queensland's coal seam gas industry which experienced rapid growth during exploration and start-up and then fell away remarkably.
The possible 6000 jobs claim for the NT was famously made in a Deloitte Access Economics report to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association in 2015.
Justice Rachel Pepper, the head of a scientific inquiry into fracking, famously said some of the jobs forecasts the Deloitte report were "courageous".
The inquiry in 2017 commissioned its own economic study into the industry through ACIL Allen.
Industry opponents point out that this study was in fact paid for by taxpayers and should be the true reference for job projections.
It said on average 524 direct and indirect jobs would be created and maintained over a 25-year period if a large-scale development occurred.
It does say: "This additional economic activity will generate employment opportunities for Territorians, with an estimated 2154 FTE jobs (BREEZE), to 6559 FTE jobs (WIND) to 13,611 FTE jobs (GALE) generated by the various development scenarios over the forecast period"
The economists used "breeze", "wind" and "gale" to model various scenarios for the gas industry, but again these are jobs are added together year after year, during 25 years to reach the total number.
These jobs also "includes indirect employment generated by the local spending of the industry. While modest in the context of the overall Northern Territory labour market, this represents the capital intensive nature of the shale gas industry and modelling assumptions," the report says.
In 2017, Justice Pepper said an independent economic expert was needed to model the industry's impact on jobs, the economy and other industries, including tourism.
"There are gaps in the knowledge and expertise in the panel. I don't have an economist," Justice Pepper said.
"Some of you may have read in the paper about the recent Deloitte report that gave, I think it's fair to say, a courageous report on the number of jobs [and] money that this industry might bring in if the moratorium is lifted."
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