A so-called mining advocate is launching a crackdown against the industry by banning oil and gas exploration across nearly half of the Northern Territory.
NT Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby (pictured right with former Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten) confirmed the government recently identified 49 per cent of the territory that will become protected from petroleum mining activity under the Petroleum Act.
Ban could be expanded
The ban includes the entire municipalities of Katherine and Alice Springs and, depending on the outcome of further talks with traditional owners, could be expanded to include more no-go areas on Aboriginal land.
The government claims the areas banned have “no petroleum potential” and warns its agencies will use regular monitoring and surveillance to make sure the oil and gas industry complies.
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Kirby promises the move will create jobs and protect the environment.
“The territory government has done exactly what we promised to do,” he said in a public statement. “Our government will make sure that as the territory’s onshore gas industry emerges, our unique natural environment is protected and local jobs come first.”
The decision comes following a Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing that made 31 recommendations, including a criteria for no-go zones for exploration and production. The NT Government adopted all of the recommendations.
For more information visit nt.gov.au