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 3407 establish a whole-of-government approach to issues regarding environmental concerns, and water and land management in relation to exploration activities. That said, there is also an onus on industry to step up and help dispel the myths, misinformation and blatant scaremongering being peddled by some sectors of the community about hydraulic fracturing. Energy and its exploration play a critical role in the Territorys economic future. While this Country Liberals government is determined to use our natural resources to benefit Territorians through the development of job opportunities, regional centres and infrastructure, we will not condone an industry that does not do the right thing by the environment. The current and projected demand for the worlds major economies means the outlook for LNG and natural gas as a fuel is, indeed, bright. With global growth comes increased energy demand and natural gas, with its greenhouse and environmentally-friendly qualities, will grow more strongly than competing fuel sources. As global economic activity and energy demand grows, demand for gas will grow at a much faster pace. As I said earlier, with the dawning of the golden age of gas, the Northern Territory is well positioned to take advantage of this global thirst for gas. Madam Speaker, I move that the Assembly take note of the statement. Mr McCARTHY (Barkly): Madam Speaker, this side of the House welcomes the ministers statement because the Territory opposition well and truly shares in this story. Territory Labor has a long-recognised and strategic footprint in welcoming the development and production side of this industry and what it represents for the Northern Territory. That is, the oil and gas sector, both in the contribution to global energy needs, as well as the future wellbeing of the Northern Territory. This side of the House is keen to see how the government proposes to build on the gamechanging work of the previous government, supporting development of the onshore and offshore oil and gas sector. The statement gives an indication of the ministers enthusiasm and we welcome that, but it does not really provide any true, real and tangible new initiatives, other than a pragmatic discussion about the industry and the potential. You must be critical in this game, and in opposition we have to be highly critical to make sure we get things right. In the February sittings last year we heard two ministerial statements on gas. The CLP sought to harness some credibility off the back of Labors work while it was in government, securing the foundation gas projects in Darwin. We have discussed this many times in the House; that is normal. One of these statements was the now infamous gas to Gove statement from the then Chief Minister, the member for Blain, a statement outlining his gas journey of knowledge. The then Chief Minister spoke of how he worked to personally secure gas for Gove, and that with gas to Gove, the Gove refinery would have at least a 10-year guarantee in supply. How things have changed in 12 months. What does that say about the CLP and its management of Territory resources? What is of great concern, through that whole mismanagement, is the gas to Gove story represented a major market player which would stimulate the exploration industry and represent a significant customer to bring gas across that major peninsula and into that regional area. The mismanagement of that project alone sits firmly on the track record of this government and, as we now see, has had mega ramifications for regional development for the township of Nhulunbuy and the East Arnhem region. You must suggest there needs to be some serious plans and intervention from this government to restore any credibility around that story. In the meantime, the opposition is pleased to support more discussion on the importance of the gas and oil sector to the Territorys future. Of course, it was Labor that saw the full potential of the gas sector to the Northern Territory, and demonstrated to the oil and gas sector and industry financiers that the Territory was a confident, can-do place. It was a place that could accommodate big projects, an environment with a competent and supportive community that would work with industry to get projects off the ground. They also saw we shared a vision to build the oil and gas sector in the Northern Territory, both on and offshore, and to help develop this industry as a central part of the Northern Territory economy. In 2010-11, on our watch, we saw the resources sector grow, increasing to a 17% contribution to our economy, supporting 4000 jobs. On our watch, we saw the development of the foundation ConocoPhillips gas processing project. We saw the NT win the $34bn Ichthys gas project with estimated expenditure of $13bn in the Northern Territory. Today, the CLP government benefits from that work of Territory Labor. The overall value of energy production in the Northern Territory is estimated to increase from $3.6bn in 2011-12 to $4.2bn by the end of 2013,