NT Inpex deal revealed
Reports say the NT Government seeks “approval” from gas giant Inpex before it releases details on the project.
Reporters recently approached the Northern Territory's Department of Environment (NT DENR) about research conducted on dugong populations in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The department said it had an approvals process with Inpex, which paid for the study, because “Inpex deserve prior consultation so that any information provided publicly is brought to their attention and is referenced correctly”, according to the ABC.
A large amount of the marine science research conducted by the NT DENR is paid for by the Japanese-owned LNG company.
Inpex’s 2012 environmental offsets agreement with the Commonwealth government requires the company to pay $91 million in marine offsets projects - including the research by NT DENR scientists - over the 40-year life of the gas export plant.
NT environment minister Eva Lawler said the Government has a “standard agreement” struck out of “courtesy and politeness”.
“I think it's that when you're working together, whether the word is 'approved' or 'discussed' … it's at least letting other parties know,” Ms Lawler said.
“There is no blocking ... I don't think there's anything sinister or anything like that - it's about people just letting the other party know so there's clear messages around media so there isn't misinformation.”