The Northern Territory’s chief minister has slammed the opposition for its ‘moronic’ approach to the economy, as an oil and gas company announced Labor’s fracking moratorium would cost the jobs of 140 workers.
Pangaea Resources on Monday said it would suspend its 2016 drilling program because of the current low oil price and uncertainty over whether Labor’s moratorium on fracking would become official NT government policy if it wins the August 27 election.
As a result, 140 people would lose their jobs, Pangaea said.
‘I am outraged, this is jobs being lost, people being sacked today because of a moronic economic approach by the leader of the opposition who clearly doesn’t understand the economy in the NT’, Chief Minister Adam Giles told reporters.
He accused Opposition Leader Michael Gunner of political opportunism and Labor of hypocrisy, saying the former government had issued mining and gas leases or applications for leases over 95 per cent of the NT.
He said a review of fracking in the NT found the practice could continue as long as the regulatory framework was strengthened.
Mr Gunner said stakeholders had made clear to him that the barrel price would affect prices for at least the next two years.
‘There’s no doubt industry does not like the moratorium, but we believe we’ve got to take the time to make the right decision for Territorians and the right decisions for jobs both in oil and gas, pastoralism, fishing, tourism, farming and so on,’ he said.
He said Labor would review the fracking review, but couldn’t say how long it would take before certainty was returned to stakeholders.