The inability for the NT Fyles Government to implement Pepper Inquiry recommendations by its self-imposed deadline more than four years after they were handed down show they can’t be done and fracking cannot proceed safely, say Territory community groups.
The government has acknowledged at least 35 recommendations remain undelivered, including 9.8 - the need for fracking companies to offset their emissions in full.
Arid Lands Environment Centre spokesperson Hannah Ekin said, “We’ve known for years that it’s not possible for Australia to open new gasfields without also drastically increasing greenhouse gas emissions. If the NT Fyles Government cannot meet this promise that they have made to the Territory public, then fracking must not proceed.
“It’s really concerning that the fracking industry is breathing down the neck of the government, even though there are so many recommendations that are unfulfilled.”
Concerns have also been raised over recommendations the government claims to have completed, but actually remain outstanding. Last year, a forensic legal review by the Environmental Defenders Office found that of the 64 recommendations the NT Government said were in place, only 38 actually were.
“The fracking inquiry never gave the go ahead to fracking - it said if fracking was to occur, these 135 recommendations would ensure it caused the least harm possible to Territory communities and the environment,” Ms Ekin said.
“It’s grossly irresponsible for the Fyles Government to be taking this tick a box approach to recommendations which were designed to address the very real concerns Territorians have for their health, and the environmental, social, and cultural values of the Territory.”