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NT fracking faces continued opposition

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April 18, 2018

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner is assuring Territorians fracking will be well regulated.

Environmental groups have vowed to continue to oppose fracking in the Northern Territory after the lifting of a ban on the controversial process to exploit onshore gas reserves.

The Territory government says fracking can be done safely with any risks acceptably reduced by following the recommendations of a recent scientific report.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says his government will protect groundwater supplies and traditional owners will continue to have a veto over fracking on their land with the new industry to provide a major boost to the regional economy through gas royalties.

But environment groups, some tourist operators and traditional owners have slammed the decision, saying it will increase carbon emissions and threaten the pristine environment.

"We will not take this decision lying down," said Lauren Mellor, spokeswoman for Frack Free NT.

"Communities, landholders and businesses right across the NT have pledged to redouble our efforts until a territory-wide fracking ban is in place."

Greenpeace said giving the green light to frack the Territory was grossly irresponsible and completely incompatible with Australia's international commitments to reduce carbon pollution.

"Fracking has proven to be an ecological disaster all over the world," energy campaigner Nikola Casule said.

However, gas producer Santos said the decision to lift the ban would reinvigorate the local economy, generating jobs and business opportunities.

"As soon we can get back to work, we will employ local people, engage local companies and resume royalty payments to host traditional owners," chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

"Santos does not want to let them down and we will be ready to go in the 2019 dry season."

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