Following on from a year of significant reform, a whole new tranche of discussion papers, amendments and scoping documents has been released. It is important that we continue to advocate through these formal reform processes for stronger environmental protection and accountability in decision making.
As the implementation of the recommendations from the Pepper Inquiry continues to roll on, the government is amending the Water Act for a second time. The amendment will create offences and introduce safeguards to protect the environment from fracking wastes. We are concerned that the bill does not provide the absolute protections for water that were required by the inquiry.
In order to encourage stronger protections for water, it is important that these reforms are being monitored and commented on by general public. There are signs that the governments’ commitment to the intent of all 135 recommendations is waning.
You can view the amendment and make a submission to the parliamentary scrutiny committee here:
In addition to fracking regulation, water reform continues to be a key environmental priority for the government. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released a water directions paper for public consultation. This is effectively a scoping document to gauge public opinion on water policy and the key areas that need reform.
If you are interested in water policy, we encourage you to read the Directions Paper and make a submission. Its an opportunity to put anything water related on the policy agenda and advocate for more accountable, equitable and sustainable water use across the NT. Arid zone aquifers are being put under increasing stress and its vital that current use of those aquifers does not threaten ecosystem health or future water needs.
You can find the discussion paper and submission form here: