NT gas review seeks more info
The Northern Territory's fracking inquiry has commissioned more independent reviews of the industry.
The Territory is trying to decide whether it should lift its current moratorium on fracking.
Inquiry chair, Justice Rachel Pepper, says an independent economic expert is needed to model the industry's impact on jobs, the economy and other industries, including tourism.
“There are gaps in the knowledge and expertise in the panel. I don't have an economist,” Justice Pepper said over the weekend.
“Some of you may have read in the paper about the recent Deloitte report that gave, I think it's fair to say, a courageous report on the number of jobs [and] money that this industry might bring in if the moratorium is lifted.”
Justice Pepper said a social impact assessment would be commissioned as well.
“Obviously we can't model the entirety of the NT for that purpose, but we do have some information now coming out from the Beetaloo Basin where there is a very large potential shale gas reservoir,” Justice Pepper said.
“We've got some information coming out from the recent material and documents, coming out of Origin, that have drilled and fracked a well up there prior to the moratorium.
“So we use that information to say, if the Gunner Government lifted the moratorium and if this industry basically began to operate in that area, what would the social impact be of that type of industry in that area?”
She also responded to calls for fracking companies to be held accountable for future impacts.
Justice Pepper said that was something the inquiry would consider.
“It's certainly something the inquiry is conscious of, the issue of, I've wrapped it up, generally of legacy mines, but I think it covers all sorts of extractive industries and this would be no different,” Justice Pepper said.
“… I would imagine the gas companies could put their hands in their pockets for that, absolutely.”