Labor’s Michael Gunner has become the Northern Territory’s new Chief Minister after winning against current Chief Minister, Adam Giles at the state’s election. Mr Gunner and Territory Labor have previously voiced their support for imposing a moratorium on fraccing in the state.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) congratulated Michael Gunner and Territory Labor on their election victory and said it looks forward to working with the new government to secure the Northern Territory’s energy future.
Territory Labor has a policy of imposing a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing to develop the Territory’s onshore gas resources.
APPEA has argued against the policy, but acknowledged it reflects concern in the community over the industry’s impacts which have been stirred up by false and exaggerated claims of opponents.
Labor has set clear preconditions for the review of this policy. APPEA said the gas industry will work with the new government to enable those conditions to be met and ensure the Northern Territory’s natural gas resources can continue to be developed for the benefit of all Territorians.
APPEA Northern Territory director Matthew Doman said, “There is no reason for a moratorium on the gas industry in the NT.
“Every reputable study confirms that, properly regulated, our industry is safe. We understand that many people are uncertain about the industry, largely because of activists’ fear campaigns.
“The industry is working with pastoralists, traditional owners and the wider community to address these concerns.”
Mr Doman said it was notable that the political parties that had campaigned hardest against fraccing attracted very little support from Territorians.
The Greens attracted less than three per cent of votes, around one third of the Territory-wide vote they received at the recent Federal election, while the One Territory party won less than four per cent of the vote.
APPEA also thanked outgoing Chief Minister Adam Giles for his strong support of the development of the Territory’s natural resources.
“The natural gas industry will continue to work hard developing open and mutually beneficial relationships with landholders and local communities while creating jobs and investment that benefit all Territorians,” Mr Doman said.