Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline gets federal approval

The pipeline route from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa is south of the Barkly Highway.
The pipeline route from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa is south of the Barkly Highway.

The Jemena-owned Northern Gas Pipeline has received environmental approval from the Federal Government for construction.

Conditions of the approval requires Jemena to not disturb more than 791 hectares of death adder snake habitat, or remove more than 36 hectares and they must also carry out open trench inspections, and rehabilitate the area within five years of completing construction.

Approval is also required for a rehabilitation plan before construction commences, and Jemena must also publish regular compliance reports.

The 622 km, 14 inch Northern Gas Pipeline will run from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa connecting gas fields in the Northern Territory to the east coast pipeline grid.

Construction on the pipeline is scheduled to commence this year though has been delayed while they finalise outstanding land access approvals.

Commissioning of the pipeline is expected in 2018.

Jemena has now received environmental approval from the Queensland and Federal Government and is now waiting on approval from the Northern Territory Government.

Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch said she looked forward to welcoming Jemena and working with them for the benefit of Mount Isa residents and business community.

“Jemena are fully committed to this project and are confident there will be no delay to the first flow of gas, expected to commence in 2018,” Cr McCulloch said.

However Lock the Gate Alliance has expressed concern about the approval.

“The Federal Government risks undermining the current fracking moratorium across the Northern Territory with this gas pipeline approval,” said Naomi Hogan, Northern Territory Coordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance.

“The Northern Gas Pipeline could lock in decades of shale gas fracking across the iconic landscapes and waterways of the Northern Territory.

Traditional owner Gadrian Hoosan from the Gulf region of the Northern Territory said they would not allow their country to be a sacrifice zone for fracking.

"Families from Borroloola and across the Gulf are ready to do anything we can to support our fellow Countrymen faced with a gas pipeline across the Barkley,” he said.

“Fracking gasfields threaten not just our land and water, but also our livelihoods and our culture,” he said.