18 Nov 2015
Statement by APPEA Director – Northern Territory, Steven Gerhardy.
APPEA notes the Chief Minister’s Oil and Gas Industry Development Strategy aimed at delivering a leading practice regulatory framework for oil and gas development in the Northern Territory.
APPEA and industry will take time to study the details of the government’s proposal.
The oil and gas industry has a proven track record of working compatibly with a wide range of landholders and land uses around Australia. Compared to many other land uses, gas projects require a very small surface footprint and are compatible and successfully coexist with other activities.
By working together, coexistence can deliver significant benefits for Traditional Owners, landholders and local communities.
A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics estimated that development of the NT’s shale gas industry could generate up to 6,300 long-term, full time jobs, add up to $460 million a year to NT Government revenue and increase the size of the NT economy by up to 37 per cent.
The oil and gas industry also notes the changes to the NT Water Act announced by the Chief Minister, including the removal of the exemption which applies to petroleum activities.
The industry’s use and management of water has always been tightly regulated under the NT Petroleum Act. The changes will bring the requirements of the two acts together into one more efficient and transparent process.
The release of the report by Dr Allan Hawke on environmental processes is also welcome. Its recommendations will be considered carefully.
APPEA is keen to work with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure the NT’s environmental processes are efficient and transparent.
The oil and gas industry has been operating safely and sustainably in the NT for more than 40 years with a strong record of environmental performance.