In the lead up to the August Territory election, NT political parties and independent candidates are being asked for their position on protecting water, communities and Territory landscapes from onshore shale fracking gasfields.
We asked the below nine questions. We’ve included all the responses we received as links at the end of this page. We note that after ongoing talks with the CLP about these questions, they chose not to offer any response.
1) Will you set up an independent scientific panel of experts to provide binding advice on the issues surrounding shale gas fracking and its social, environmental and public health impacts?
2) Will you ensure full baseline studies of ground and surface water quality and quantity are undertaken and publicly available before drilling for shale gas commences?
3) Will you prevent the risks of shale gas fracking in the Territory by halting the industry until it can be proven safe, by:
– A ban on any development of the shale gas industry for at least 5 years
– A moratorium on shale gas drilling until science and community concerns are fully researched and resolved
– Other, please outline:
4) Will you support the right of landholders and Traditional Owners to say no to shale gas extraction on their properties and lands?
5) Would you support a chain of responsibility for resource extraction framework that:
Ensures parent companies of mines and executives are responsible for financial clean up of pollution even if companies go bankrupt during mining or rehabilitation, to ensure the burden does not fall on the local landholder or the NT Government?
6) Will you support a truly independent EPA with the lead assessment, enforcement and compliance power over fracking and mining companies? Will the EPA set strict regulations on waste management and pollution by shale gas companies and hold operators legally and financially accountable?
7) Will you review currently approved onshore gas areas and implement ‘no go zones’ over drinking water catchments and groundwater recharge areas, regional and remote community living areas and important tourism regions, so they are protected from onshore shale gas fracking?
8) In the event of water contamination in areas of the NT targeted by shale gas fracking, do you support a policy where it is up to the companies involved to prove they didn’t contaminate the water? (This would replace the current system where the onus of proof falls on the landholder to prove their water was clean before shale gas extraction operated in the area.)
9) Will you mandate under law that shale gas companies must hold comprehensive environmental pollution insurance before they can operate in the NT and that they hold a substantial bond for at least 25 years after fracking concludes to cover any future damages?
Please click on the names below to see their full responses.
If you are running as a candidate in the NT elections and would like to put your response to these questions on the record, please send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add them to this list.
Thank you to all candidates and parties for their time in completing this survey.
Below is an overview of the different fracking positions from political parties contesting the 2016 NT election.