In Resources

Northern Territory Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison

Increased Certainty To Pastoralists And The Petroleum Industry

Victor P Taffa

Northern Territory Government has now endorsed the Petroleum Regulations 2020, providing clarity for Territory land owners and the petroleum industry.

 “Northern Territory Government is building a productive onshore petroleum industry that protects our unique environment and delivers local jobs and it is integral to ensure a robust and trusted regulatory framework is in place.” Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said.

Petroleum Regulations 2020 (The Regulations) will strengthen regulation and ensure industry is accountable for its practices, while assisting pastoralists and petroleum companies to reach land access agreements for petroleum activities, including the required protections.

“Northern Territory will have the strongest land access regulations in the country and the NTCA thanks the efforts of the Northern Territory Government – Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison and former Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby.” Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Chief Executive Officer Ashley Manicaros said.

“This completes the groundwork of previous President’s and CEO’s. The pastoral sector and the pastoral estate are fundamental to the Territory’s economic future and these regulations will ensure the $1.2 billion cattle industry can continue to operate and if need be, ensure there is compensation for the disruption to this well-established commodity.”

Key matters outlined in The Regulations include:

  • Requiring statutory land access agreements to be reached for regulated operations and detailed notices to be issued prior to any airborne surveys and limited preliminary activities.
  • Provision of mechanisms to assist parties negotiate a statutory land access agreement including mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Clarifying minimum protection requirements including the requirement for all statutory land access agreements to contain standard 24 minimum protections specified in the Inquiry which include requirements such as closing gates, ensuring all petroleum company employees receive induction training, minimising disturbance to livestock, giving notice to landholders and managing weeds.

“These new regulations developed in consultation with industry will help to improve certainty for the Territory’s oil and gas sector and pastoralists.” APPEA Director Northern Territory Keld Knudsen said.

Regulations were drafted in-line with the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing and with extensive stakeholder consultation including pastoral lease holders, petroleum companies as well as peak industry bodies such as The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the NT Cattleman’s Association.

Following this consultation, the Petroleum Regulations 2020 will deliver clarity for both landholders and the petroleum industry, bringing to fruition 62 of the Hydraulic Fracturing inquiry’s 135 recommendations.

Petroleum Regulations 2020 will commence from 1 January 2021.


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