Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Hansard Office

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Thursday 13 February 2014 3405 parliament. The Queensland model works on this. It does take a bit longer but, generally speaking, you get legislation that is much better and needs very few amendments when it gets back to parliament. That is my understanding of the system in Queensland. I put it to the parliament that we suspend standing orders so we can debate the motion to take this legislation to either the Parliamentary Accounts Committee or the Territorys Energy Future committee. I thank all members for their comments whether I agree with them or not. Sometimes it would be nice to have a few more comments. They do not have to agree with me, but I would like to hear other peoples points of view about the committees. Do we use them sufficiently compared to, say, how Queensland uses them? Anyway, that is for another day. The Assembly divided: Ayes 9 Noes 13 Ms Fyles Ms Anderson Mr Gunner Mr Conlan Ms Lawrie Mr Elferink Mr McCarthy Ms Finocchiaro Ms Manison Mr Giles Mr Vatskalis Mr Higgins Mr Vowles Mr Kurrupuwu Ms Walker Mrs Lambley Mr Wood Ms Lee Mrs Price Mr Styles Mr Tollner Mr Westra van Holthe Motion negatived. MINISTERIAL STATEMENT The Northern Territorys Gas Future Continued from earlier this day. Mr WESTRA van HOLTHE (Mines and Energy): Madam Speaker, the projected expenditure on oil and gas exploration on granted tenements in the Northern Territory over the next five years exceeds $200m, and there is every indication this figure will grow as more tenements are granted. During 2014, we expect to see continued high levels of onshore petroleum exploration, driven, in part, by major companies such as Santos and Statoil which have joint ventured into projects in the Amadeus, McArthur and Georgina Basins. A clear indication of the high level of confidence that companies have in the results of survey findings across the Northern Territory is that current work programs show no fewer than 25 exploration wells could be drilled within the next 12 months. This is outstanding. There is also a surge of greenfield exploration in the McArthur and Beetaloo Basins, and many areas being explored for petroleum for the first time. The Australia governments Geoscience Australia report issued last year titled Upstream Petroleum and Offshore Minerals Working Group Inaugural Report to the Standing Council on Energy Resources on Unconventional Reserves, Resources, Production, Forecasts and Drilling Rates summed up: The rapid uptake of acreage in the Northern Territory is an indication of the interest in the prospectivity of the basins in this region. There have been widespread indications of petroleum during petroleum and stratigraphic drilling and mineral exploration over many years. My Department of Mines and Energy continues to work with industry to identify markets and potential areas for investment which will support regional development. Under this governments Framing the Future blueprint, building our regions to ensure investment in the mining and petroleum sectors benefits the host region is a key factor in developing and maintaining a prosperous economy. As I stated previously in this House, this government is currently considering implementing a priority zone system for minerals and energy development in the Northern Territory. Zone 1 would encompass the area from Nhulunbuy through to the McArthur region and west into the Beetaloo Basin, and would include the Gulf coast and inland in the Roper and McArthur regions. It also encompasses the Beetaloo and McArthur basins, which are highly prospective for oil and gas and close to existing pipeline infrastructure. The second zone includes areas to the north and east of Alice Springs, where there are a number of mineral exploration activities under way, as well as the Amadeus Basin south of Alice Springs which has a very high oil and gas potential Currently, the department is consulting specifically and directly with industry in order to reach agreement on mutual obligations in respect to implementing these priority zones. In a nutshell, this government will provide support for infrastructure development, improve and progress approvals for land access and provide whole-ofgovernment assistance for qualifying in order to advance exploration activity within these priority zones. The notion is simple; the overall benefits for regional development will be greater if accumulated in one zone, rather than spread