Labor Senators will reserve comments and view on the fairness and equitability of the Industry Research and Development (Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program) Instrument 2021 until the final report on completion of the Senate inquiry.
In regard to eligibility issues that are raised, it should not be implied that only companies who pay tax on profits should be eligible for government grants. This would impact many entities that have applied and will apply in the future for a range of Commonwealth grants.
Labor Senators note that exploration of the Beetaloo Basin has been underway for many years. This activity has contributed to the NT economy through direct and indirect jobs and spending.
We acknowledge the efforts of the Northern Land Council to inform and consult with a range of Traditional Owners and interests over a number of years, according to its statutory requirements under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 and the Native Title Act 1993. Labor Senators urge that consideration be given to how the efforts of the NLC can be further supported to ensure even more rigorous consultation with affected Traditional Owners and Native Title interests.