In Resources

Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby

Delivering Regulatory Framework For Onshore Gas

Victor P Taffa

Northern Territory Government has taken a major step forward in delivering a transparent, accountable onshore gas industry that will create jobs for Territorians while protecting the environment.

“Our Government is taking action so that as the Territory’s onshore gas industry emerges, our unique natural environment and existing industries are protected.” Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby said.

“Inquiry said that the design and implementation of a robust regulatory framework was a fundamental precursor to the development of any onshore shale gas industry in the Northern Territory.”

Draft Code of Practice has been released for public consultation today as part of the Territory Government’s implementation of the 135 recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.

Draft Code of Practice has been developed by technical working groups of Northern Territory Government regulatory inspectors and engineers working closely with CSIRO scientific staff.

“Protecting our environment creates jobs, good environmental policy is smart economic policy.” Minister for Environment and Natural Resources Eva Lawler said.

“These reforms will strengthen governance and accountability for environmental decisions, support local jobs, and provide greater certainty for business and the community.”

Code of Practice mandates enforceable standards and requirements for the onshore gas industry on key issues including:

  • Surface Activities;
  • Well Operations;
  • Wastewater Management;
  • Methane emissions.

Importantly, the Code of Practice implements in whole or in part:

  • 32 of the 135 recommendations of the Inquiry;
  • 15 of the 31 recommendations required for exploration to commence this year.

“Over the past 6 months, working under the direction of the Northern Territory Government, we have collaborated with policy makers, industry representatives, and CSIRO’s own technical experts to develop a Code of Practice that addresses the relevant recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.” CSIRO Senior Research Scientist (Energy) Dr. Cameron Huddlestone-Holmes said.

“Code of Practice draws on similar regulatory instruments in other jurisdictions, Northern Territory Government policy and the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing’s final report. With input from a range of stakeholders, CSIRO has helped develop the Code of Practice in a manner that is technically sound and pragmatic.”

Draft Code of Practice is out for public consultation for four weeks. The public can provide comment via the Have Your Say website until 2 May 2019.


CSIRO            Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


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