The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration (APPEA) and Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) welcomed the NT Government’s new Petroleum Regulations 2020, providing greater clarity around land access for Territory landholders and the petroleum industry.
The regulations contain significant provisions to codify and strengthen regulations around land access requirements, including 24 minimum provisions for land access agreements. This regulation fulfils a number of the recommendations outlined by the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.
Under the new regulations, explorers and landholders will be required to reach a legally binding land access agreement before petroleum activities are approved and can begin.
The regulations will also provide certainty for all parties and assist pastoralists and petroleum companies to effectively reach land access agreements for petroleum activities.
APPEA NT Director Keld Knudsen congratulated the NT Government for consulting with key stakeholders to achieve these regulations.
“Evidence shows everyone benefits when explorers and pastoralists proactively engage around their activities, identify issues and work together to achieve sustainable solutions,” Mr Knudsen said.
“Building and maintaining strong and positive relationships between the industry and other users of the land is essential, especially to ensure the long-term economic benefits of responsible resource development.
“This is a long-term win for both industries, and for all Territorians generating wider benefits including jobs and royalty revenue.”
NTCA Chief Executive Ashley Manicaros said the new requirements lay the foundations for positive outcomes for pastoralists and petroleum explorers.
“The regulations establish a minimum set of standards with which both parties need to negotiate access,” Mr Manicaros said. “From next year, a land access agreement will need to be in place before access to the land can occur. It is important for both sectors that relationships start the correct way and the regulations establish a framework for that to occur.
“The cattle industry is worth $1.2 billion and employs 10,000 people directly and indirectly. Each cattle station in the Territory is a multi-million dollar enterprise in their own right and as a consequence any disruption or risk has to be mitigated. These regulations create a mechanism to ensure this occurs.”
The Petroleum Regulations 2020 will start from 1 January 2021.