The proposed Northern Gas Pipeline is running behind on its assessment timeline, with delays now coming from the Federal Government, concerned about 'significant impacts' to Federally listed threatened species like the Bilby and the Gouldian Finch.
The Federal Government has extended their assessment time, with a decision now due by 15 March 2017.
Opponents of the pipeline are concerned that Jemena is treating the approval as a done deal, stockpiling pipeline in Tennant Creek, while serious concerns about the pipeline's impacts continue to cause delays.
"We welcome the extended period for assessment as the Federal EPBC unit obviously takes the concerns for threatened species seriously," said Jimmy Cocking of the Arid Lands Environment Centre in Alice Springs.
"We hope that this period allows the Government to require a Threatened Species Survey following the one in 50 year rainfall events that have fallen across the region this summer."
"This delay comes after the NTEPA Assessment report release last week that indicated concerns for the most perilous part of the pipeline project that involves river and creek crossings. The NTEPA was not satisfied with Jemena's assessment of the environmental values of the river systems and the proposed mitigation of their impact.""Jemena is putting the horse before the cart, where thousands of lengths of pipe are being stockpiled north of Tennant Creek. Jemena wants everyone to think this is a fait accompli, it is far from that."
"We have serious concerns that the environmental assessment has not been up to scratch and will put the Bilby and Gouldian Finch at risk," said Naomi Hogan of the Lock the Gate Alliance NT.
"The Northern Gas Pipeline is a proposal for a new 620km gas pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa that is planned to open up vast areas of the Northern Territory to industrial-scale fracking gasfields"
"This short term pipeline construction could mean long term pain for Territory industries that will be impacted by the fracking gasfields designed to feed the pipe," she said.
The EPBC notice of the delay is available here: http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_entity/annotation/c19897fd-fdec-e611-9a9c-005056ba00a7/a71d58ad-4cba-48b6-8dab-f3091fc31cd5?t=1486505717787