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Neve Brissenden

Energy minister confident in NT gas after setbacks

Energy and Mining Minister Nicole Manison is backing the future of the industries despite setbacks. (Aaron Bunch/AAP PHOTOS)

The Northern Territory government says it remains confident in the gas and mining industries as well as its environmental assessment protocols after two weeks of setbacks on major projects.

This week anti-fracking protesters mobilised across the nation as a landmark case challenging the Beetaloo Basin's environmental approvals began in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.

It comes just days after a traditional owner won a last-minute bid to delay the construction of Santos's Barossa gas pipeline in the Timor Sea.

As both court battles continue, a Senate inquiry into the NT government's Middle Arm precinct trudges along, with reports the major mining and manufacturing hub is a "key enabler" for Beetaloo Basin exports and the CSIRO greenhouse modelling was "flat out wrong".

Anti-fracking protesters in Sydney
Protesters mobilised to support a court challenge to the Beetaloo Basin's environmental approvals.

Shares in gas producers, including Santos and Tamboran Resources, have taken a hit this week as the mounting legal delays cast growing doubts over the companies' project timelines.

However, the NT government is keen to ensure the industry keeps on rolling, with Energy and Mining Minister Nicole Manison assuring the public and investors it's business as usual for the industry.

"I remain very confident in the future of the mining industry in the NT," she said.

"If you're going to decarbonise economies, you need to have the critical minerals to manufacture those products."

Ms Manison said the energy sector had a string of strong processes in place to ensure environmental and cultural wishes were respected.

"People can have confidence with the development of new energy projects that we have a strong regulatory system in place," she said.

"We have a strong environmental system in place. We have checks and balances to make sure that cultural sites of significant significance are protected as well.

"So if people dispute that, then they can go through those processes."

The NT government is more than $8 billion in debt and expanding the gas industry is seen as critical to boosting its economy.

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