Primary Report on Fracking in the Northern Territory

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Primary Report on Fracking in the Northern Territory

The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory has released its Interim Report. The Inquiry was commissioned by the Northern Territory Government with the purpose of investigating the risks associated with unconventional shale gas development. Unconventional gas refers to extraction of gas, largely methane, trapped in impermeable layers of rock such as coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas.

The Inquiry has engaged extensively with community and industry and several issues have been shown to be key concerns:

  • Access and impact to water
  • Strength of regulatory framework
  • Land (both practical and aesthetic) degradation
  • Land access, contribution to climate change
  • Indigenous cultural damage
  • Social impacts
  • Public health; and
  • Economic value.

The Inquiry’s findings will resolve the current territory-wide moratorium on unconventional hydraulic fracking which could potentially open the Northern Territory up to the national gas market. Last week, the Northern Gas Pipeline began construction and when finished will connect the Northern Territory to the national gas market. The final report from the Inquiry is expected by the end of 2017.

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