The credibility of the economic report to the NT Fracking Inquiry will undoubtedly be in question after the announcement that ACIL Allen is the successful tenderer, a company with major clients in the oil and gas sector.
ACIL Allen has a long list of mining and gas companies for clients, including Jemena the proponent for the Northern Gas Pipeline who are strong supporters of fracking in the territory, and Santos who are one of the main proponents for coal seam gas production in the Eastern states.
“Last week we had Minister Ken Vowles talking up unconventional gas production at a petroleum industry breakfast in Perth, and this week we have the announcement that ACIL Allen, a company that has clients the like of Jemena, Santos and AGL will be preparing the main economic report for the NT Fracking Inquiry,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“It’s increasingly becoming harder to believe that the outcome of the NT Fracking Inquiry is not already a foregone conclusion. ALEC questions the nature of the appointment of a company that is embedded in the unconventional gas industry through making economic claims that promote its expansion.'
“ALEC cannot see how this company can provide impartial advice to the NT Fracking Inquiry, and this appointment does not provide any faith in the process. Surely there could have been a more impartial appointment?”
“The Northern Territory is the next national climate hotspot after the Adani Coalmine, with projections that the Beetaloo Basin alone could contain up to 400 trillion cubic feet of gas. If the Beetaloo Basin is fracked it could be a carbon bomb that will have huge ramifications for our climate.”
“We are at a critical juncture in history – do we keep going on, business as usual, and keep cooking the planet, or do we start making choices that give us a chance of a sustainable future? The appointment of ACIL Allen indicates it's still business as usual for the gas industry. We hope the Inquiry can see the conflict arising from this appointment and work to increase transparency in the process,' said Mr Cocking.