Recommendation implemented.

(A) That prior to the grant of any further exploration approvals, in consultation with the gas industry and the community, the Government develops a wastewater management framework for any onshore shale gas industry. Consideration must be given to the likely volumes and nature of wastewaters that will be produced by the industry during the exploration and production phases. That the framework for managing wastewater includes an auditable chain of custody system for the transport of wastewater (including by pipelines) that enables source-to-delivery tracking of wastewater.

(B) That the absence of any treatment and disposal facilities in the NT for wastewater and brines produced by the gas industry be addressed as a matter of priority.

Target completion date


Reform area
Ensuring accountable industry practice
Project action
Developing transparent and enforceable codes of practice
Lead agency

Action item update

Implementation progress

The Northern Territory Government worked with independent scientific experts to develop a Code of Practice relative to the Inquiry's recommendation. The Code is legally enforceable through the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016. The finalised Code was published on 12 June 2019 and can be found here.