LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Northern Territory Government has accepted all 135 recommendations of the independent fracking inquiry.
Implementation of the recommendations will now begin so that Territorians can benefit from the creation of new jobs while protecting our unique natural environment for generations to come.
We promised to be a Government that restores trust, listens to the community and creates jobs. We promised an independent, scientific inquiry after which we would either ban fracking or allow it in highly regulated circumstances in tightly prescribed areas.
We have kept our promise.
We have accepted the key finding of the report – that if all the recommendations are implemented the risk from fracking can be reduced to an acceptable level.
We have also accepted the inquiry’s advice about no go zones and coupled with areas where there is no petroleum potential, 49% of the Territory will be frack free, including in national parks, conservation areas, Indigenous protected areas, towns, residential and strategic assets, and areas of high cultural, environmental or tourism value.
In the remainder of the Territory, strict new laws and regulations will be put in place to ensure that when fracking takes place, we protect the environment, the cultures and lifestyles that rely on it, and the many tourism, pastoral and agricultural jobs that depend on it.
We understand that many Territorians are concerned about increased greenhouse gas emissions from fracking and as recommended by the inquiry. I have written to the Prime Minister and the Federal Leader of the Opposition seeking their agreement to partner with us in offsetting all additional emissions.
In line with the recommendations of the report, the Government will be ensuring industry pays its fair share through an appropriate cost recovery model.
Work on a detailed implementation plan for the 135 recommendations of the final report will begin immediately and be completed and released to the public in July this year.
As part of the ongoing implementation a community and industry reference group will be created to ensure Territorians continue to have a formal voice in the process.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner
Fracking OK, but under 'strict laws' – Gunner
LETTER TO THE EDITOR