The NT Greens have accused the CLP Government's Mines Minister of pushing ahead with fracking in the absence of an adequate and appropriate regulatory regime.
Minister Tollner yesterday announced progress towards what he described as a "world's best practice operating environment", however spokesperson Todd Williams from the NT Greens says this only highlights a "cart before the horse" approach.
"The same Hawke report which Mr Tollner refers to clearly described the inadequacies of the existing regulatory environment," explained Mr Williams.
"Contrary to Mr Tollner's claims that the Territory already has a robust regulatory system for the current level of oil and gas activities, the Hawke report - commissioned by government and endorsed at both the departmental and ministerial levels - clearly described a range of deficiencies and inadequacies of existing systems."
"A better response would have been to wait for the Territory's laws and agencies to catch up with this emerging new practice of hydraulic fracturing."
"Instead, this minister has fudged the facts, and allowed the frackers to proceed in a regulatory vacuum."
"To then claim credit for an as-yet unseen draft regulations, that are already well behind schedule, adds insult to injury."
Mr Williams admits that no regulation will satisfy the Greens, who are outright opposed to any more gas exploitation in the NT.
"Our carbon budget was blown when previous governments allowed big fossil fuel plants in our harbour," said Mr Williams.
"It's time we moved beyond last century's fossil fuel industries, to capitalize on our solar resource advantage and build a sustainable energy future for the NT."