Gas royalties could help with NT Budget repair

The Northern Territory Budget, released on Tuesday 2 May, confirms the need for new private sector investment to arrest a forecast decline in taxation and royalty revenues.

Lifting the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing would generate a new source of income for the Northern Territory Government which has unveiled a tripling of its budget deficit.

APPEA NT Director Matthew Doman said safe and sustainable development of the Territory’s onshore natural gas resources could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties, create thousands of jobs, and deliver long-term Budget repair.

“The NT Budget confirms the need for new revenue sources to fund vital public services as well as new investment to grow the economy. Natural gas can deliver both,” Mr Doman said.

Mr Doman said a study by Deloitte Access Economics had found developing natural gas could increase NT Government revenues by almost $1 billion by 2040 and create up to 6300 new jobs.

“The benefits of natural gas investment will build slowly but they will be long-term. That’s why it is critical the delivery of those benefits is not delayed,” he said.

“Australia is desperate for new sources of natural gas. The Territory has abundant onshore gas that can be safely and sustainably developed. This is a win-win for the NT and the rest of the country.”

Mr Doman said the gas industry hoped the current inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the NT would show the industry could be developed safely.

“Every other inquiry into fracking has shown the process is safe when properly regulated. There’s no reason the NT inquiry should reach any other conclusion,” he said.

APPEA’s submission to the fracking inquiry is available at this link.