Next week the Northern Territory inquiry into hydraulic fracturing will begin its last phase of hearings and community forums. It is an important last phase – for the NT and for Australia.
A thorough scientific study of hydraulic fracturing has found it poses little risk to the Northern Territory environment. This is no surprise – it is the second major study to come to the same conclusion in the NT in the past few years and the latest in a strong of a dozen or so conducted around the country.
While it isn’t the final word from the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory, the draft report is certainly a welcome indication of the results to come – that the risks associated with onshore natural gas development and fracking can be managed with effective regulation in place.
While most West Australians have come to terms that their Government is running a second inquiry into hydraulic fracturing – all at the taxpayers’ expense mind you – we were surprised to see that many of the issues and concerns raised in the Government’s Issues Paper have already been detailed in several previous scientific reports and inquiries.
The Northern Territory’s Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing has released its interim report, which extensively details the effort undertaken to more completely understand a highly technical, and often misrepresented, industry.
The opinion of State and Territory Governments is that more inquiries are needed looking into the thoroughly understood well-stimulation process of hydraulic fracturing – tagged “fracking” by activists so that they can tell companies to “frack off”.