Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Creating Jobs, Protecting our Environment: Exploration to Begin

The Territory Labor Government has announced no-go zones for gas exploration and production, and released the Compliance and Monitoring Strategy. 

All 31 recommendations identified by the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing (Inquiry) as requiring implementation before exploration drilling and fracking can occur have now been implemented.

The Territory Labor Government has implemented the criteria for no-go zones from the Inquiry, coupled with areas where there is no petroleum potential.

The formal establishment of the no-go zones under the Petroleum Act will occur in a staged process, with 49% of the Territory identified to be protected from petroleum activity.  

Action will be taken to declare immediate no-go zones. Further consultations and negotiations will be undertaken with stakeholders, including Traditional Owners, to determine whether they want to declare areas within Aboriginal Land as no-go zones.

Following community consultation and feedback, Katherine and Alice Springs municipalities are both to be declared as no-go zones.

The Compliance and Monitoring Strategy outlines how key Government agencies will undertake active compliance, monitoring and surveillance to detect any non-compliances in the gas industry.

For information on progress towards the implementation of each of the 135 recommendations from the Inquiry – including the completion of the 31 recommendations required for exploration – go to:

Information outlining no-go zone areas, the no-go zone criteria are available to view here: 

Submissions received during public consultation are available to view here:

The Compliance and Monitoring Strategy is available to view here

Quotes from the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby:

“The Territory Labor Government has done exactly what we promised to do.

“Today we have reached a significant milestone with the completion of all the pre-exploration recommendations.

“Our Government will make sure that as the Territory’s onshore gas industry emerges, our unique natural environment is protected and local jobs come first.

Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:

“Our natural environment is one of our best assets and it’s a large part of what makes living in the Territory so special.

“It is important that our unique environment and the jobs that rely on it are protected – and that is exactly what this Government is doing.

Media Contact: 

Hannah West (Minister Kirby) 0436 641 108
Ellie Clancy (Minister Lawler) 0436 646 689