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  • 13 Nov 2023 12:33 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Federal Parliament has recently passed new legislation, supported by both sides, that allows for the import and export of carbon dioxide. This development opens up new economic opportunities for Australia through carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS). Operators who have limited options for storing their own industrial emissions can now turn to Australia for CCUS solutions.

    During the legislative scrutiny, a parliamentary committee composed of government and opposition MPs acknowledged the importance of carbon capture technology for Australia and its regional climate mitigation efforts.

    This legislation is designed to fulfill Australia's obligations stemming from the 2009 and 2013 amendments to the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972. It achieves this by amending the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 in the following ways: enabling the granting of permits for the export of carbon dioxide streams from carbon dioxide capture processes, allowing for sequestration into sub-seabed geological formations; allowing for permits for the placement of wastes or other matter for scientific research in marine geoengineering activities; and making necessary consequential and technical amendments.

    To read the bill as passed on the 13 November 2023, click here.

  • 13 Nov 2023 10:55 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Santos has furthered strengthened its position as a carbon capture and storage (CCS) leader, by formalising a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on carbon solutions with Korean energy company, SK E&S.

    The MOU provides for Santos and SK E&S to cooperate in seeking to develop a low-carbon hub at Darwin in Northern Territory after a CO2 storage permit was awarded for G-11-AP, within the Bonaparte basin, off the coast of Western Australia in 2022.

    Santos and SK E&S will also collaborate on securing additional CO2 storage including the Bayu-Undan field and develop a transboundary business model to aggregate and transport CO2 from Korea to Australia for safe and secure storage underground.

    Santos CEO and Managing Director Kevin Gallagher said the MOU highlighted the important role CCS is expected to play in decarbonising the large energy-consuming economies of Asia.

    “Just as Australia has been a reliable energy producer for Asian economies for more than half a century, there is an enormous opportunity for Australia to be at the forefront of helping them decarbonise using our natural competitive advantage in carbon storage resources and knowhow,” Mr Gallagher said.

    “The International Energy Agency 2023 Net-zero update says about 6GTpa of storage from CCS will be required by 2050 – that’s about 100 times higher than today’s operational capacity.

    “And the Agency recently noted “Australia is well-suited to large-scale deployment of CCS to facilitate domestic CO2 abatement and support regional emissions reductions.

    “As demand for CO2 transport and storage continues to grow, Santos and SK E&S intend to collaborate under the terms of the MOU to work with relevant governments to urgently progress the necessary regulatory, fiscal and carbon credit frameworks required to support international collaboration on CCS to decarbonise our region.

    “We know a large scale-up of CCS is required to meet the world’s climate objectives and Santos has the technology, infrastructure and knowledge to be able to deliver low-cost CCS competitively on a global scale."

    Mr Gallagher said the agreement follows the signing of four other MOUs with third parties for carbon capture and storage at Santos’ proposed Darwin and Bayu-Undan CCS Hub, indicating strong customer-led demand for CCS as a relatively low-cost decarbonisation solution.

    “These MOUs complement a further MOU with Timor-Leste’s national oil company, TIMOR GAP, to explore partnership opportunities for the proposed Bayu-Undan CCS,” Mr Gallagher said.

    “CCS is a proven technology that is critical to achieving climate goals throughout the region and executing these MOUs demonstrates the increasing demand for CCS and the broad acceptance of CCS as a decarbonisation strategy.

    “Santos is making excellent progress on our planned three-hub CCS strategy with our Moomba CCS project on track for first injection in 2024, front end engineering and design at Bayu-Undan CCS nearing completion, and plans for Reindeer, offshore Western Australia, continuing to progress.”

    G-11-AP has been awarded to Santos Offshore Pty Ltd (40% and Operator), Chevron Australia Pty Ltd (30%) and SK E&S (30%) and covers an area of 26,239 km2 within the Bonaparte Basin.

    to view the full media release, click here.


  • 10 Nov 2023 11:03 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    The Acting Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security has declared the Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan 2023-2031.

    This is the first plan for the Georgina and Wiso Basins within the Daly Roper Beetaloo Water Control District.

    The plan applies to an area of approximately 155,000 square kilometres, extending about 600km from north to south, and 500 km east to west (the plan area).

    The plan area includes the towns of Daly Waters, Elliott and Newcastle Waters and smaller communities of Jangirulu, Likkaparta, Murranji and Wutunugurra.

    The plan allocates water from the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer, the most extensive and highest quality groundwater resource in the plan area.

    The plan retains water for environment and cultural uses and allocates 210,000 mega litres of water for public drinking water supplies and for development in the region.

    The amount of water allocated is less than the replenishment rate and means that during the eight year life of the plan the aquifer storage will continue to increase.

    In the plan, allocations for public water supply are prioritised over water for other beneficial uses, protecting the quantity of water for drinking.

    Currently there is very limited water use in the plan area, which is predominately for stock and domestic purposes across pastoral leases that cover 85 per cent of the area.

    More than 20,000 mega litres per year is allocated to the Aboriginal water reserve for Aboriginal economic development.

    The Beetaloo Sub-basin is in the plan area and water for petroleum activities has been capped at 10,000 mega litres per year.

    Information about the plan and supporting documents are available on the Georgina Wiso water allocation plan website, available at:

    Quotes by DEPWS Water Resources Division Executive Director, Amy Dysart

    “The Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan has been produced to meet the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory.

    “The plan ensures water is prioritised for the environment and cultural purposes and determines how water is shared between beneficial uses.

    “The plan presents a comprehensive understanding of the water resource informed by studies undertaken as part of the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA).

    “The Department looks forward to working with the Traditional Owners of the region as part of an Aboriginal Reference Group to ensure that Aboriginal cultural values and knowledge are understood, key groundwater dependent sites are defined, and specific cultural protections are developed for future inclusion in the plan”.


    Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

    Media Contact 0437 915 366

    Source: NT Government newsroom

  • 09 Nov 2023 2:43 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Our appetite for solar PV continues. At the end of the third quarter, Australia’s total installed solar rooftop capacity had reached 21.2GW.  More than 68,000 new installations were added to the grid in the quarter with a total installed capacity of 620MW. In addition to the latest installation statistics, we take a look at other developments in the sector, including its levelised cost of energy and the average payback period for solar PV systems. Read more

    For more, contact Carol Tran, Australian Energy Council

    Source: Australian Energy Council

  • 05 Nov 2023 1:15 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ngaree Ah Kit is set to lead a delegation to Indonesia and Timor-Leste to attract new investment into development opportunities in the Northern Territory and new international students.

    Indonesia is the Territory’s sixth largest trading partner, with the trade delegation set to visit Lombok and Jakarta to build on existing close economic and strategic partnerships following on from the recent MoU signing for economic development with West Nusa Tenggara Government.

    While in Indonesia, Minister Ah Kit will present at the Indonesia Australia Business Council Conference as an opportunity to promote the significant investment opportunities available in the Northern Territory, particularly in the critical minerals sector.

    The delegation will engage in discussions to advance a collaborative approach to ensuring the ongoing viability of its live cattle trade, including agricultural research and development opportunities.

    Another key feature of the program will be an International Education showcase of Territory education and training providers for agents in Indonesia keen to identify placements for students into the Northern Territory.

    The Northern Territory also enjoys a strong relationship with Timor-Leste and part of the delegation will travel to Dili to continue Government’s engagement on the advancement of key actions under its Strategic Partnership Agreement with Timor-Leste finalised earlier this year.

    While in Dili, the Minister will meet the Vice-Prime Minister, other Government officials and various organisations to discuss the countries’ mutual interests and opportunities.

    This includes bilateral activities in the health, education and workforce development sectors.

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Ngaree Ah Kit:

     “The Northern Territory has the potential to be a major player in the global supply chain of the critical minerals required for new and renewable energy technologies and we need to continually tell that story to our trading partners.

    “This South East Asian visit is also a major opportunity to advance our renowned agricultural and international education export offerings, while building on the strong partnerships we have in training and workforce development.

    “Representing the Northern Territory Government on this delegation brings with it the significant opportunity to attract more investment into the Northern Territory by building stronger relationships with our near neighbours and trading partners, and highlighting why the Northern Territory is the best investment decision.”


    Total trip cost for Minister Ah Kit and two ministerial staff: $19,810

    Source: NT Government Newsroom

  • 04 Nov 2023 1:13 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Our roads are the lifeline of the Territory, connecting our communities and unlocking new industries and job opportunities for Territorians. 

    In partnership with the Commonwealth, the Territory Labor Government is investing $150 million into the Carpentaria Highway to upgrade the road across a program of works. 

    The Carpentaria Highway is a key access road for people travelling to Borroloola and for a number of industries including our growing energy sector. The upgrades from single lane to dual lane bitumen supports existing road users, industry and communities by providing more reliable transport and freight links.

    Stage one has now been completed, marking an important milestone for the project with 48km of the highway now upgraded and sealed.

    These works which include 24 culverts and two truck stops  greatly improve road safety, reduced travel times, reduce vehicle operating costs and bolster flood immunity to increase year round access.

    Territory company Exact Contracting are undertaking the program of works with construction for stage two now underway, which will deliver further upgrades and sealed bitumen along to road to Borroloola.   

    The Carpentaria project has created over 200 jobs and up to 80 employees can be found on site at any one time. 

    Quote attributable to Minister for Territory Development, Eva Lawler: 

    “The Northern Territory is entering an era of thriving development and innovation as we power towards a $40 billion economy by 2030.

    “The upgrades to the Carpentaria Highway will complement multiple strategic projects currently underway that aim to bring the Territory’s vision of becoming a world-class energy production, manufacturing and services hub to reality.

    “Upgrading the Carpentaria Highway involves a range of works including reconstructing, widening, elevating and sealing the road, meaning this important route will have year round access, improving economic opportunities and access to essential services.”

    Quote attributable to Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Joel Bowden: 

    “We know how important roads are in the Territory, which is why we are investing $150 million into The Carpentaria Highway as a key access route to Borroloola and surrounding regions.

    “Investing in roads is essential to improve year round connectivity, create jobs and boost economic development, key points our government is focused on delivering.

    “Exact Contracting are a Territory company who build great roads, making driving along highway’s like the Carpentaria a smoother and safer journey for Territorians and visitors.”

    Source: NT Government Newsroom

  • 03 Nov 2023 8:00 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    The Commission has approved Power and Water Corporation’s (PWC’s) proposed 2024-25 system control and market operator charges to be applied from 1 July 2024.

    On 29 September 2023, PWC submitted to the Commission its 2024-25 Annual Pricing Proposal for System Control and Market Operator charges, which provides for interim charges for one year from 1 July 2024. The Commission assessed the proposal and confirmed it meets the Commission’s requirements for simplicity, escalating approved charges for 2023-24 to account for inflation. As such, the Commission approved PWC’s 2024-25 Annual Pricing Proposal for System Control and Market Operator charges.

    The charges approved for 2024-25 are the maximum that PWC can charge for services provided by the power system controller with respect to its regulated electricity networks.

    More information regarding the regulation of system control charges and other electricity charges can be found on the electricity price regulation page.

    Source: Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory
  • 03 Nov 2023 8:25 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Santos notes the Federal Court of Australia has today granted an interim injunction to prevent Santos from commencing to lay the Barossa Gas Export Pipeline (GEP) until 13 November 2023.

    This decision is in connection with an application by Mr Simon Munkara seeking an order that Santos revise and resubmit the Environment Plan (EP) that was accepted by the regulator, NOPSEMA, in March 2020.

    Mr Munkara alleges laying the GEP will impact submerged Tiwi cultural heritage, creating a new environmental risk.

    Santos has complied with a General Direction issued by the regulator NOPSEMA in January 2023 in relation to impacts on underwater cultural heritage places to which Indigenous people have spiritual and cultural connections.

    An independent expert anthropologist concluded there were no such underwater cultural heritage places, following interviews with around 170 Tiwi people and extensive archaeological and anthropological literature and studies. These studies included consideration of independent expert archaeological, geological and sedimentological assessment of the pipeline route.

    Santos updated the EP to reflect the recommendations of the independent expert anthropologist, through its approved Management of Change process which is part of the GEP EP.

    The Court will sit again on 13 November 2023 to determine whether to extend the injunction until that final hearing, which will be held on an expedited basis.

    As announced to the ASX earlier this week, Santos respects the cultural heritage of the Tiwi people and while we appreciate there are a range of views, Santos has complied in full with the requirements of the General Direction as stipulated by the regulator, NOPSEMA. The regulator has monitored this compliance throughout.

    The pipelay vessel will hold in Darwin and no pipelay activity linked to the GEP will be undertaken during the interim injunction.

    Guidance on Barossa cost and schedule remains unchanged. Santos will assess any impact on the schedule and cost of the Barossa Gas Project if the injunction is extended beyond 13 November 2023 and will update the market accordingly.

    Santos will continue to defend the proceedings at the next court date.

    To view the full media release, click here.

    Source: Santos

  • 02 Nov 2023 11:54 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    The Albanese Government is working to address acute skills shortages in the Northern Territory, today announcing an extension to the existing migration agreement with the NT Government, benefitting over 280 employers across the Territory.

    The one year extension to the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) will cover up to 625 temporary skilled visas for new workers, delivering higher wages for new workers and more expansive pathways for permanent residency for existing workers, ensuring all levels of government are working together to get skilled workers into areas that need them most.   

    This agreement will see deliver more care workers, nurses, dental assistants, cooks and chefs for local NT communities, and ensure Territory employers are able to hire and retain workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers, benefitting the Territory economy.  

    The Albanese Government will increase the types of jobs offered under the agreement and streamline a number of requirements to make it easier for employers to use, while expanding pathways to permanent residency for workers and their families.  

    The agreement will now also include much-needed occupations like primary and secondary school teachers, and software engineers, relaxing eligibility restrictions to appropriately address workforce shortages.   

    The Albanese and Fyles Governments understand the importance of ensuring migrant workers are safe at work, and are afforded proper pay and conditions.

    The Albanese Government is also removing the former Liberal Government’s non-monetary compensation meaning workers will have more pay in their pockets.

    In order to meet salary thresholds from 2024 onward, minimum wages under the agreement’s extension will also rise from around $48,000 to $55,000.

    Both governments look forward to working in a tripartite manner with business and unions as the third NT DAMA is negotiated in 2024, to begin in 2025.   


    “The Northern Territory is a place of enormous opportunity but it also faces challenges. Attracting and retaining skilled workers can be difficult.

    “This Government is acting to ensure the Northern Territory has the workers and services it needs to keep its economy strong.

    “This extension of the Designated Area Migration Agreement is another example of how the Albanese Government is working with the Northern Territory Government to ensure the Top End continues to power ahead.”


    “The Albanese Labor Government inherited a system with backlog after backlog, delays and waitlists.    

    “We haven’t wasted a day in cleaning up immigration the mess left by the Liberals over a decade of neglect, including under former Minister Dutton.    

    “Peter Dutton himself oversaw a complicated, slow and unplanned mess when it came to people coming into this country.    

    “The Albanese Government is bringing governments, businesses and unions together to build a migration system that works in the interests of all Territorians.”


    “The Northern Territory is bursting with opportunity. The economy is going in the right direction, we just need to make sure we have the working population to make sure we stay competitive.

    “This agreement will be used by over 280 employers here in the Territory – covering up to 625 temporary skilled workers.

    “This is why my Government will continue to work with the Federal Government to make sure we get more skilled workers to the Territory. We want to help more businesses find staff to make sure business keeps moving. This is not about just encouraging people to move to the Territory for the short term, we want to incentivise them to stay.”


    “The Territory Labor Government is working on making the Territory an ideal and attractive destination for overseas skilled workers.

    “This one year extension will make sure we continue to have a rolling number of skilled workers in the Territory.

    “We will continue to work with the Federal Government and local businesses to address ongoing worker shortages, grow our population through international migration, while delivering a skilled and diverse workforce.

    Source: Northern Territory Government Newsroom

  • 02 Nov 2023 11:34 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    A new solar cell technology being supported by the Australian Government could help rapidly scale up low-cost solar.

    The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $11m in funding to Australian solar technology company SunDrive solar.

    SunDrive has developed a solar cell metallisation technology that uses copper instead of silver in its manufacture. Copper is approximately 100x cheaper and 1000x more abundant than silver.

    Australia has the highest uptake of solar in the world. But over the last ten years, only 1% of installed solar cells have been made in Australia.

    Through this project, SunDrive will scale up its advanced production line. This will allow it to make enough copper metallised PV cells for around 15,000 household solar systems each year. SunDrive is aiming to employ more than 500 people as production increases in Australia.

    The technology has environmental benefits too. Copper is easier to recycle and is less carbon intensive than silver in the manufacturing process.

    Read more:

    Scaling up SunDrive’s advanced solar PV manufacturing - Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

    Source: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

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