In 2018, the Northern Territory Government lifted the moratorium on fracking on the basis it would commit to supporting all 135 recommendations of Fracking Inquiry.
The inquiry panel - spearheaded by Justice Rachel Pepper - said risks of a fracking industry could be reduced to acceptable levels provided all 135 recommendations were implemented.
Yet while the NT Government continues to subsidise and support the expansion of the gas fracking industry, it is failing to keep its end of the bargain to ensure that the risks of fracking are minimised at all times.
Strategic Regional Environment and Baseline Assessments (SREBA) are a cornerstone of the Inquiry recommendations and need to be conducted across multiple years before they can get any valid results. Yet the Government has reduced the timeline of SREBA from 3-5 years to just 18 months.
It is not good enough for the government to keep referring to 135 recommendations for why an onshore gas industry in the NT is acceptable when they are failing on implementing so many of them. Victoria has enshrined a ban on fracking in the state’s Constitution after deeming the risks unacceptable.
Here are just some of the ways the NT Government is undermining its own shale gas regulatory framework and eroding our confidence that it can properly regulate and monitor this risky, polluting industry.