Development of the Northern Territory’s natural gas resources can and must be delivered in harmony with the environment and in positive collaboration with pastoral, farming and tourism industries, according to an experienced land use expert.
In a video produced by APPEA, David Armstrong, who has worked with the pastoral and resources industries over many years, argues a powerful mutually-beneficial partnership is being formed among the industries to the benefit of all Territorians, especially those in regional areas.
Mr Armstrong argues the investment proposed by onshore gas companies would mean improved transport, communications and other services in remote and regional areas. However, he insists the gas industry can only develop in regional areas if it contributes to the communities which host the activity, and water resources and the broader environment are protected.
Mr Armstrong acknowledges landholders often had concerns about how the gas industry would co-exist on their land, and great effort was made to ensure all questions were addressed.
“The industry doesn’t proceed without ensuring those concerns are satisfied,” Mr Armstrong says in the video.
Mr Armstrong also calls for a balanced public discussion of the industry and respect for all points of view.
“I respect the fact that there some pastoralists who don’t want this on their land, but I think respect needs to be afforded to the pastoralists who are happy for it.
“If this industry is allowed to progress, there’s upwards of 6000 jobs that will come into the Northern Territory.”
Mr Armstrong says investment will also “bring in development of bitumen roads, of mobile phone coverage, of better internet service, and power to get on the grid.”
The video can be seen at this link and at www.gas4nt.com.au, a new website and social media platform launched to provide a fact-based, evidence-led source of information about natural gas exploration and development in the Northern Territory.
Gas4NT is supported and funded by APPEA and its principal members pursuing development of NT natural gas resources. APPEA Director – South Australia/Northern Territory, Matthew Doman, said the industry was committed to ensuring that public discussion was based on information that was factual, complete and relevant to proposed development in the NT.