You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.


It’s happening. The onshore gas industry Northern Territorians were promised is rolling out.

Gas from the Beetaloo Basin will start flowing this year, kickstarting the next stage of economic benefits for the Northern Territory from onshore gas development.

While companies are still going through the processes to secure full production licences, appraisal gas production is a pre-development phase that ensures the NT gets the maximum benefit from its resources.

It also reduces emissions and flaring to protect the environment. Millions of dollars of gas production infrastructure is moving into the region.

Companies are completing environmental approvals and working with stakeholders, including Traditional Owners, to progress their projects.

But that’s not to say challenges don’t remain.

The industry requires investment stability at such a critical time with major projects heading into the final investment decision phase.

We need better co-ordination within government.

Regulatory arms within the NT Government need to be consolidated and streamlined process to make processes more efficient and provide greater certainty and speed to project approvals.

This is not just good for the gas industry but the broader business community – giving investors in our region greater certainty to back the NT and help us build a $40 billion economy.

We also need localised energy planning.

Our path to net zero will be different and our energy mix is different to the rest of Australia so we need a local plan to capture the opportunity of gas.

While the Commonwealth is looking at a national gas strategy, the NT Government should be looking at a new gas strategy for this region given the last one was devised in 2018.

This is important because the pieces of the NT’s cleaner energy future are starting to fit together.

Gas is so crucial to the NT economy: employing 11,000 workers along the supply chain, enabling about $19 billion of economic activity annually and driving future economic growth.

It also keeps the lights on by generating 86 per cent of Territorians’ electricity supply, while the industry is leading decarbonisation efforts.

The Territory Government’s focus on practical solutions on the road to net zero underscores the importance of gas in Australia’s energy transformation.

Middle Arm and the Beetaloo Basin will play integral roles in the Territory’s cleaner energy transformation, supporting thousands of jobs and delivering millions of dollars of investment in regional communities.

Moreover, carbon capture, utilisation and storage represents a new net-zero industry, supporting a least-cost path to net zero and offering significant economic and emissions reduction opportunities.

With onshore gas on the cusp of production, plans for the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct move forward to capture carbon and produce low-carbon hydrogen.

This kind of project demonstrates how billions of dollars of economic benefits can flow in a net zero economy.

For example, the NT Government has identified a potential $17 billion contribution to the Australian economy from Middle Arm’s gas manufacturing activities alone.

The port of Darwin is our gateway to the world, leveraging the offshore gas industry the NT has already established.

With more than 55 per cent of the world’s population within 5000 kilometres, the opportunity in front of this region is a great example of securing Australia’s competitive advantage in the Asia-Pacific.

The NT is at the centre of Australia’s economic opportunity. This is an exciting time to live in this region.