Fracking to be independently monitored: Minister

p2222-Dave-Tollner-1LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – An independent review conducted by internationally renowned expert in energy law, Tina Hunter, has found the Northern Territory’s Petroleum (Environmental) Regulations are a major step forward for the Territory.

 

The previous Labor Government originally appointed Dr Hunter in 2012 to review the capacity of the Territory’s legal framework to regulate the development of onshore shale, tight and coal seam gas.

 

Dr Hunter was then re-engaged in 2016. She refers to these regulations as “a quantum leap from the Northern Territory regulations of old” and confirms risk based regulations are a welcome addition to the regulation of onshore petroleum activities.

 

The draft regulations have been developed in keeping with the recommendations of Dr Allan Hawke.

 

Dr Hunter’s review acknowledges the need to supplement the draft Regulations with detailed guidelines, which will be developed once the Regulations are finalised.

 

Risk-based regulation will ensure environmental risks and impacts will be reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable and acceptable and will give the NT Government the capacity to implement best practice.

 

The NT Government remains committed to implementing a robust regulatory regime for onshore oil and gas activities and it will continue to consult with the community to develop world’s best practice environmental protections, which will be independently monitored.

 

David Tollner (pictured)
Minister for Mines and Energy

 

 

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. R Henry
    Posted April 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I hope the lady knows more about what she is being paid for than she appears to know about previous early working relationships between the stations and the Aboriginals. Re her comments in the other local paper.

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  2. Posted April 13, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Dear Mr Giles,
    Fracking AND a nuclear waste dump? Guess who’s leaving the NT and possibly Australia after he loses Office, whenever that may be?
    Why would something as “safe” as fracking require monitoring by anyone at all Mr Giles?
    You only monitor things if they may go bad and destroy things you haven’t even thought of yet.
    Could I suggest you book an ABBA tribute band to sing “Money, Money, Money” at your farewell extravaganza?
    Really, Mr Giles, how stupid do you think Territorians are? Oh, sorry you’ve already given us that answer haven’t you?

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  3. Posted April 13, 2016 at 12:18 am

    What absolute rubbish?! The current raft of Petroleum Regulations actually make the situation worse. Increasing uncertainty in the definitions and providing loopholes the size of canyons is not creating a robust regulatory system.
    Although both are nice enough people, Dr Hunter is not independent, nor is Dr Hawke in this instance. This whole approach has been flawed from the start.
    The NT Government is giving the illusion of doing something when it is actually weakening the system of protecting our water and the environment. There is not any certainty for industry either as these hopelessly flawed regulations will be thrown out by any responsible Minister and then the process will start again.
    The NT EPA needs to be empowered to provide advice to the Environment Minister to approve projects that may have detrimental impacts on the environment, not the Mines and Energy Minister whose job it is to promote the industry.
    The “improved” regulatory system under the CLP will have the Mines and Energy Minister promote, assess, approve and enforce compliance of fracking, mining etc and the Environment Minister comes in when there is not a “responsible” Minister, e.g. ports that aren’t ports like Port Melville and any other project that doesn’t quite fit the bill.
    The CLP’s attempt to “improve the system” is a farce.
    I wish I could be talking it up and telling everyone how good it is to have a government committed to improving the environmental assessment and approvals system but unfortunately I can’t.
    The system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Tinkering on the regulations will not do the job. Giving certainty to Territorians that the gas industry will not impact drinking water is what we need – these petroleum regulations are not going to do that, nor will unenforceable guidelines.
    If you’re looking for legacy, Dave, these regs aren’t it. Handing over your approval powers to the Environment Minister and compliance enforcement to the NT EPA, well that would be a real step forward.

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  4. Marli Banks
    Posted April 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Gas leaks. There is no way this industry can be rolled out safely across the Northern Territory as is being proposed.
    People want long term solutions for cleaner power solutions; it is time for defending the environment and people rather than big industry with a dirty history.

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