Territory fracking inquiry must consider public benefits: APPEA

APPEA Northern Territory Director Matthew Doman.

APPEA Northern Territory Director Matthew Doman.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomed the release of draft terms of reference for the proposed inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory.

The new Northern Territory Government has had a clear policy of imposing a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing to develop the Territory’s onshore unconventional gas resources.

APPEA has argued against the moratorium, but is pleased that the Government is moving quickly to establish the framework for the review of the policy.

APPEA’s director for the Northern Territory Matthew Doman said the industry would take time to review the draft terms of reference, but would support the inquiry and collaborate with it to ensure that information considered was factual, complete and relevant to proposed development in the NT.

“We acknowledge the new Government’s policy reflects concern in the community over the industry’s impacts – all too often stirred up by the false and exaggerated claims of opponents,” said Mr Doman.

“Every reputable study confirms that, properly regulated, our industry is safe. We understand that many people are uncertain about the industry, largely because of activists’ fear campaigns. The industry is working with pastoralists, Traditional Owners and the wider community to address these concerns.

“It is important that the inquiry considers that public benefits to Territorians of natural gas development. These benefits include employment and training opportunities in regional communities, improved infrastructure and services, and direct benefits to the Traditional Owners and landholders who host development on their land.”

APPEA and its members seeking to develop the Territory’s resources will work with Government and inquiry panel to enable the review of the policy to be completed on a timely basis.

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