Action item 12.9
Government approval of policy/process development.
That gas companies provide the necessary funds to ensure the ongoing maintenance requirements for road infrastructure are met for the life of any onshore shale gas project. These should be based on the individual gas company’s percentage of tonnage hauled along the roads.
To be completed by December 2022.
Action item update
The Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) developed a consultation paper for cost recovery options and coordinated stakeholder consultation on the proposal over January and February 2022. Thirteen submissions were received, with nine submissions providing feedback relevant to Recommendation 12.9 which will be considered further by Government.
Key points from the consultation process included:
- Industry stakeholders encouraged the NT Government to continue to assess the benefits outlined in Section 3.2.1 of the Consultation Paper (National reform of heavy vehicle charging) rather than seeking to apply a separate regulatory framework that will then either be replaced or duplicate national reforms; Implementation of the national standards would maintain consistency with other Australian jurisdictions.
This system would also provide equity across all industries using roads and infrastructure. The timing for national road reforms would also appear to coincide with when major developments could be expected in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
- Some industry stakeholders oppose industry-specific charges as they are fundamentally a penalty to one type of activity. Industry stakeholders also suggested Recommendation 12.9 may not be well-targeted given most of the additional use of roads will be used by third party suppliers rather than gas companies.
- One of the Industry stakeholder’s proposed a simple process of assessing heavy haulage road use with a fee applied to the users through a road use agreement as in other jurisdictions; this can be a simple framework and administration process based on road usage permits. An example of this to consider would be the Protocol for Notifiable Road Use Agreements in Queensland.
- Two non-industry stakeholders noted that any cost recovery methodology should provide sufficient road maintenance funding to fund all roads in the Territory that service petroleum projects and should take into consideration the potential growth in road usage as industry develops.