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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Thursday 13 February 2014 3421 member of this committee, I want to keep a clear mind on these issues. There are people who have some legitimate concerns about fracking. One of the issues is how much water is used. That issue needs to be looked at and is something the committee can do. I assume the department is looking at those things. There are other people who do not want any more fossil fuels to be used. They believe by allowing fracking you are allowing more gas and fossil fuels to be burned, and more gas into the atmosphere. While that might be a reasonable philosophical point, it does not necessarily mean the science is right, or that you use spurious arguments to get to that point. I did not listen to the Country Hour today, as I was working on other things. I always have the Country Hour website on my computer. It said: A group of Katherine locals is ramping up efforts to stop shale oil and gas exploration in the Northern Territory. The exploration, which can involve the hydraulic fracturing of rock deep below the earths surface, is occurring in the McArthur, Beetaloo, Georgina and Amadeus Basins. It went on to say: The process, however, has concerned Daniel Tapp from Big River Station, near Mataranka, who says people are worried about the potential impact the drilling will have on water resources. He says the local community doesnt want the exploration to happen on their land, so theyve decided to start a lobby group against it. Stedman Ellis from the Australian Petroleum & Exploration Association (APPEA) says there is no need for people to be alarmed about the industry. The industry will go above and beyond regulations to ensure the protection of water. The fundamental part of the process in successfully producing the gas is keeping the gas inside the well and the water outside the well, he said. I will not read the whole article. I am highlighting the fact there are some people who still have concerns about fracking, some of whom are pastoralists. It will be an ongoing discussion, whether we like it or not. The minister has promised some upgraded regulations in relation to fracking. I think you mentioned it in the statement. I am not sure if they are parts of an act or simply an upgrade of regulations which must come to parliament, but I am interested to know what those regulations or changes will be. They were promised some time last year. When we talk about the Northern Territory moving ahead on gas, we understand that much of that gas will be unconventional. Some will be standard drilling for gas, some will not. Whether we like it or not, that discussion is out there. We need to have all the proper information about it, especially if we are to counteract what, in some cases, might be spurious claims. In other places, concerns they have might be legitimate. It cannot be put under the carpet; it needs to be addressed in a logical and scientific way. I am a little sad that the Northern Territorys Gas Future statement could not have been a little broader. I would have liked to hear a little more about where we are going with geothermal. I have been a geothermal fan since I started in parliament. I went to I am trying to think of the companys name which was centred in Brisbane, it is that long ago to discuss how Innamincka was going. I am not sure how far it got; it should have been doing a trial Mrs Price: Innamincka is not working. It blew up. I was down there. Mr WOOD: It will not be much good me going there. It had been working on it for a long time. It is very expensive. The member for Stuart has said the generator of the trial powerhouse blew up. That does not fill me with joy and excitement, that is for sure. However, geothermal is known around the world. We were using a system of what is called hot or dry rocks, which are some of the hottest rocks in Australia or the world. Many other places get it from things like geysers and being close to volcanoes. The potential for producing power at Innamincka was enormous. I might do a little research there. I was hoping to go there one day, but I do not want to see a project that has blown up. I will investigate that. Although we talk about gas, we need to talk about those other forms of energy as well. The committees trip to Perth was very enlightening. I am not sure how much can be repeated because the committee has not issued its report yet. In