Independent Oversight of Hydraulic Fracturing Implementation

Issued 09 Jul 2020

A key part of the Government’s response to the Inquiry and the Implementation Plan is building trust through transparency.  The principles of engagement, transparency and accountability are guiding our approach to implementing the recommendations.

Current mechanisms for independent oversight include:

Independent Overseer

A key mechanism of oversight is the Independent Overseer, Dr David Ritchie. The role of the Independent Overseer is to provide the Chief Minister and NT Government with independent advice on how the implementation of the recommendations from the Inquiry is progressing and being managed. Dr David Ritchie’s role as Independent Overseer was due to expire on 30 June 2020, an extension has been granted until 31 December 2021.

The Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group

The Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group (CBRG) provides direct feedback and advice to the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation, coordinated by the Department of the Chief Minister.

The CBRG is essential to ensure stakeholders have oversight and input into the development of the implementation framework and its subsequent execution.

The CBRG’s term was due to conclude in June 2020. The CBRG’s term has been extended until 31 December 2020 and continue their oversight of Stage 3 implementation.

Other targeted oversight

The Aboriginal Information Program Working Group has been established to guide the implementation of Recommendations 11.5 and 11.6 and includes representatives from Land Councils, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).

The Aboriginal Information Program is being designed with CSIRO to ensure Aboriginal people and communities have access to consistent, factual, relevant and easy to understand and culturally appropriate information relating to the onshore petroleum industry.

A Regional Reference Group will established for the Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.  The Reference Group will comprise stakeholders who live, or have interests within the SREBA region to ensure there is appropriate local and regional engagement in baseline studies and SREBA outcomes.

The Reference Group will provide advice on the development and implementation of the SREBA studies within the region, engagement with local stakeholders, and communication of results and outcomes to the community.