The Territory Labor Government will keep almost half of the Territoryfree from hydraulic fracturing exploration or production activities as part ofits commitment to protect our natural environment and create jobs.
Aspart of recommendations from the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NorthernTerritory,areas exempt from petroleum activity, called no-go zones, will cover 48.44 percent (654,900km2) of the Territory.
The Inquiry determined, through its research and consultation,there should be areas that are off limits to any petroleum exploration orproduction activities, due to these areas unique values and their importantrole in providing environmental, social, health and cultural benefits tosurrounding communities.
Inidentifying these areas the Territory Government has taken into consideration anumber of existing factors such as granted exploration permits, Aboriginal Landand current land use.
The Territory Government will consult with Traditional Ownersthrough the relevant Land Councils to determine whether or not they would liketo declare areas within Aboriginal Land as reserve blocks.
By consulting we are ensuring that these areasnot only meet the recommendations of the Inquiry, but they also meet theexpectations of Territorians.
Territorians can now have their say on the proposed areas to be declareda reserved block via the website haveyoursay.nt.gov.au
As stated byMinister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby:
The Territory Government has a clear plan to protect our environment,create local jobs and ensure the actions of Government and industry are transparentand accountable.
OurGovernment respects the rights of Traditional Owners under the Aboriginal LandRights Act to determine what activity occurs on their land.
We are delivering stronger regulation and at the same time creatingcertainty for companies planning for onshore gas exploration this dry season.