12 Jun 2019
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources
Minister for Environment and Natural Resources
The Territory Labor Government has finalised the Code of Practice, further strengthening protections for the environment and delivering an accountable and transparent onshore gas industry, which will support Territory jobs.
The Northern Territory Government is implementing all 135 recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing. The establishment of the Code means the majority of the recommendations required for exploration to commence this year have been implemented.
The Code was developed by the Northern Territory Government, working closely with the CSIRO, and peer reviewed by scientific experts from around the world.
A total of 29 substantive public submissions were received while the draft Code was available for public comment.
In response to public submissions, the Code has been revised to make it clear that enclosed tanks are required to be used to store wastewater. The Code has also been made clearer regarding wastewater treatment, evaporation, transport and disposal requirements.
The Code mandates enforceable standards and requirements for the onshore gas industry on key issues, including:
Wastewater management; and
Development of the Territory’s onshore petroleum industry has the potential to generate significant investment in the local economy and create local jobs.
Following the approval of environment management plans, civil works are commencing in the Beetaloo basin, in accordance with the Code of Practice. Copies of approved environment management plans will be available to be viewed here: https://denr.nt.gov.au/environment-information/onshore-gas-in-the-northern-territory/environment-management-plan
Quotes from Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby:
“With this new Code of Practice, our Government is delivering strong and clear regulation to protect the environment, give certainty for investment, and meet community demands.
“Our Government has a clear plan to protect our environment, create local jobs and ensure the actions of Government and industry are transparent and accountable.
“We expect to see exploration this dry season – so long as the companies have met all the requirements that they need to meet.”
Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:
“The Territory’s natural environment is one of our best assets and a huge part of what makes living here so special. Protecting the environment creates jobs — good environmental policy, is smart economic policy.
“We are restoring trust and certainty through the implementation of a robust, clear and transparent set of rules and guidelines for how the environment must be protected.”
“These reforms will strengthen governance and accountability for environmental decisions, providing greater certainty for business and the community.”
Media contacts: Carl Pfeiffer 0417 910 720 (Minister Kirby), Ellie Clancy 0436 646 689 (Minister Lawler).