Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group

The Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group (The Reference Group):

  • provided direct feedback and advice to the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation Taskforce in the Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet.
  • was essential to ensuring stakeholders had oversight and input into the development of the implementation framework and its subsequent execution.

The Reference Group held its final meeting on 8 December 2020, they:

  • discussed the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry implementation six month progress update, for the period of 1 May to 31 October 2020 with Northern Territory Government senior officers and Dr David Ritchie in attendance.
  • supported the view that its term would conclude on 31 December 2020 without seeking further extension. Engagement and oversight through the final stage of inquiry implementation will continue directly with the Independent Overseer, Dr Ritchie and through existing and newly established working and reference groups.


The purpose of the Reference Group was to provide:

  • advice on the implementation framework and its subsequent execution to ensure that the framework aligns with community and industry expectations;
  • a forum to share information and provide opportunities for cooperation, and collaboration with stakeholders and the community; and
  • a medium through which stakeholders can communicate their views about the implementation framework and its subsequent execution directly to the Government.


The Reference Group members brought a diversity of skills from the:

  • community
  • environmental groups
  • local business
  • gas industry
  • local Government.

Read the terms of reference PDF (296.6 KB).

The members were:

  • Mr Denys Stedman (Chair) – Buy Local Advocate
  • Mr Jimmy Cocking – Director, Arid Lands Environment Centre
  • Mr Keld Knudson – Director, NT Exploration and Onshore Environment, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
  • Ms Julie-Ann Stoll – Manager – Mining, Central Land Council
  • Mr Greg Bicknell – Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce
  • Ms Gillian Duggin – Principal Lawyer and Executive Officer, Environmental Defenders Office
  • Mr Geoff Crowhurst – Chair, Katherine Mining Services Association
  • Mayor Fay Miller – Mayor, Katherine Town Council
  • Prof Alan Cass – Director, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Mr Michael Bridge – Chairman, Tourism NT
  • Mr Greg McDonald – Manager Minerals and Energy, Northern Land Council
  • Mr Paul Burke – Chief Executive Officer, NT Farmers
  • Mr David Ciaravolo –Executive Officer, Amateur Fisherman’s Association of the NT
  • Mr Tom Stockwell – former President of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association
  • Mr Bobby Nunggumajbarr – Chairman, Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation
  • Mrs Katherine Warby – Barkly Pastoralist and Business Owner

Implementation of the recommendations requires careful management and coordination.

Future engagement opportunities will be scheduled across the Territory, in accordance with Government’s commitment to engage widely with Territorians.


Last Updated:
28 Jun 2022