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.
Another independent economic analysis has confirmed the strong contribution onshore shale gas development could contribute to the Northern Territory.
Indigenous representatives in northern Australia today sent a strong message to anti-gas activists: trying to pressure communities will not work.
If the chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims is right, then Australia is about to take the almost unprecedented step of interfering with export contracts to redirect gas to the domestic market.
The Northern Territory could be on the cusp of a major economic resurgence, if its science-based independent inquiry gives a green light to natural gas development.
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.