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ALL FOR SHOW: NT Government approves Tamboran frack plan with option to sell "exploratory" gas once laws in place

The Northern Territory Government has approved an application that would allow the sale of fracked gas from 12 new exploratory wells - once the government changes the law to make such an application possible.

The NT Fyles Government is debating amendments to the Petroleum Act in Parliament right now that would change the law to allow the sale of fracked gas from appraisal or exploratory wells - without the consent of Traditional Owners or pastoralists.  

The proposed Bill was among the reasons more than 150 protestors gathered outside NT Parliament House yesterday for an anti-gas rally.

Since submitting the Environment Management Plan earlier this year, Origin Energy has sold its licenses in the Beetaloo to Tamboran Resources, which is infamous for cutting pastoralist fences and locking traditional owners out. Although the application has been approved under Origin’s name, Tamboran will be the company carrying out the drilling and fracking.

Despite the approval only appearing on the NT Government’s website today, the document shows the decision was made on November 14.

Arid Lands Environment Centre spokesperson Hannah Ekin said, “The approval of this plan shows the NT Fyles Government believed the law change to the petroleum act allowing the sale of fracked gas from exploratory wells was a done deal - even before legislation has passed the parliament.

“Under this legislation, there is no limit to how much gas a fracking company could sell from an exploration licence. 

“Justice Pepper raised concerns about this sort of ‘production creep’ in her fracking inquiry recommendations - when we start to see the risks of large-scale, industrial gas fracking not being given the full regulatory process of production.

“The plan also omits any downstream emissions associated with burning this gas. It’s a massive cop out on climate.

“It’s a slap in the face for everyone who participated in the NT fracking inquiry in good faith, for the communities who will be directly impacted, and for anyone concerned about our planet’s rapidly deteriorating climate.”

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Terry Morgan said, “This is an extreme case of putting the cart before the horse. The government hadn’t even made its dangerous changes to the petroleum act when it approved this plan.

“Along with the government’s draft water allocation plan released late last week, we’re seeing evidence of a government that will do anything to support the fracking industry - democracy be damned.”


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