Northern Territory communities will continue to advocate for a ban on fracking regardless of the recommendations from the final report of the Northern Territory Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing, which has been released today.
The Arid Lands Environment Centre welcomes the comprehensive detail in the Final Report, however disagrees that the myriad of risks exposed by the Inquiry from the process of fracking could ever be mitigated to an acceptable level.
The Inquiry has also recommended that the moratorium could be lifted without an implementation plan to mitigate the risks for the first three months - which would leave Territorians shouldering the risk.
“Implementing the recommendations in full is a huge task which would require a lot of time and resources, and allowing the moratorium to be lifted before an implementation plan is in place is not in the spirit of mitigating risk,” said Nicole Pietsch, Strategy and Communications Manager at the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“There is significant doubt that the gas industry could comply with and finance many of the proposed recommendations, and that the NT government has the capacity to implement and enforce compliance of the recommendations.”
“The Northern Territory Environmental Regulatory reforms are still not clear, and we don’t have a climate policy for the NT, which should underpin any decisions about investments in these kind of large fossil fuel projects.”
“The Inquiry itself assessed the unmitigated risks to climate change to be either ‘medium’ or ‘high’. The fact that the NT carbon emissions continue to rise is now getting national media attention, and opening up the Territory to fracking will make emissions rise even further. Fracking the Territory would be a climate carbon bomb and we should not be heading down this path.”
“A ban on fracking is the best option for the Territory to reduce the risks. We urge the NT Government to take the precautionary principle seriously and maintain the moratorium.”