The Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments have struck a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will aim to provide security over long term gas supply to the Territory.

Federal Resources and Energy Minister, Gary Gray, said that the MOU is a crucial step towards securing and promoting the Territory’s future economic prosperity.

“Both the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Governments recognise the critical importance of supporting the Territory to achieve its full economic potential and we are determined to play our part in facilitating an effective outcome,” Mr Gray said.

Chief Minister Adam Giles said that delivering gas to the Gove would drive investment in the Territory’s resources and energy sector.

“Onshore gas exploration is speeding up and the potential in the Territory is remarkable,” Mr Giles said.

“The Territory needs to be known as a safe, free-market jurisdiction and a place to do business.

"Businesses and government can achieve mutually desirable goals, provided businesses are willing to invest.

“The MOU focuses on ensuring that gas resources are sustainably developed in the national and community interest.”

Effective immediately, the MOU will underpin an active and co-ordinated approach to promoting the exploration and timely development of offshore and onshore gas resources. Its objectives are: 

  • To ensure long term secure gas supply for the Northern Territory, in particular to facilitate the supply of gas for domestic and commercial use for all customers in the NT, including Rio Tinto’s Gove Alumina refinery;
  • To reduce the risks associated with gas supply security in the Northern Territory due to exploration and development not meeting demand; and
  • To encourage competition between gas suppliers for the benefit of consumers and thus avoid an artificial or distorted gas market within the Northern Territory.

“Businesses and communities need certainty of energy supply and a competitive energy market if they are able to prosper into the future. Today’s announcement is an important step towards delivering greater energy certainty to all Northern Territorians,” Mr Gray said.