Joint Media Release with Minister for the Environment and Energy The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan
The Federal Government welcomes the decision by the Northern Territory Government to develop their gas resources. While we await further details, this is a step in the right direction.
As quoted in the Northern Territory Inquiry, Geoscience Australia estimates that the Northern Territory has 257,276 PJ of prospective shale gas resources, equivalent to over 200 years of east coast domestic demand.
The Commonwealth’s consistent position, supported by the Chief Scientist and the CSIRO, is that unconventional gas can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable way if states adopt a scientific and evidence based approach.
“The development of these gas resources could alleviate some of the pressure on the east coast gas market, helping to put downward pressure on prices,” Minister Frydenberg said.
“With gas playing an increasingly important role in setting the price of electricity the development of the Northern Territory’s gas resources could not come soon enough.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the decision to lift the moratorium will be a boost to jobs and the economy.
“Ultimately, the gas industry is about creating new jobs, new investment and new opportunities in Northern Australia,” Minister Canavan said.
“We need to keep developing our own gas supply to attract new industries such as refining and manufacturing. There’s no reason these industries shouldn’t develop in the North – as long as we have the gas to power them.
“There has been review after review into gas extraction. And each time the conclusion is the same – the gas industry can be developed safely with appropriate regulations.
“I congratulate the Northern Territory on lifting this ban. And I encourage other states to rethink their own blanket bans.”
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion welcomed this long overdue and much expected decision after the sixth review into hydraulic fracturing confirmed what every Territorian and every scientist already knew.
“The development of the Territory’s gas industry can not only be done safely but it will deliver thousands of jobs and unlock billions of dollars in investment, setting up growth and prosperity for generations of Territorians to come.
“After two years of inaction, missed opportunity and the loss of jobs and investment NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner now needs to put the economic future of the Territory ahead of his own political interests.”