The Territory Government’s finalised new Code of Practice outlines further strengthening protections for the environment and will help deliver an accountable and transparent onshore gas industry.
The Northern Territory Government is implementing all 135 recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.
The establishment of the Code means the majority of the recommendations required for exploration to commence this year have been implemented.
The Code was developed by the Northern Territory Government, working closely with the CSIRO, and peer reviewed by scientific experts from around the world.
A total of 29 substantive public submissions were received while the draft Code was available for public comment.
In response to public submissions, the Code has been revised to make it clear that enclosed tanks are required to be used to store wastewater.
The Code has also been made clearer regarding wastewater treatment, evaporation, transport and disposal requirements.
The Code mandates enforceable standards and requirements for the onshore gas industry on key issues, including:
- Well operations
- Surface activities
- Wastewater management
- Methane emissions
Development of the Territory’s onshore petroleum industry has the potential to generate significant investment in the local economy and create local jobs.
Following the approval of environment management plans, civil works are commencing in the Beetaloo basin, in accordance with the Code of Practice.
Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler, said that the reforms will strengthen governance and accountability for environmental decisions, providing greater certainty for business and the community.
“The Territory’s natural environment is one of our best assets and a huge part of what makes living here so special. Protecting the environment creates jobs — good environmental policy is smart economic policy,” Ms Lawler said.
“We are restoring trust and certainty through the implementation of a robust, clear and transparent set of rules and guidelines for how the environment must be protected.”