The Northern Territory’s fracking review has handed down its final report.

The 15-month inquiry has found that “the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT can be appropriately managed”.

The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracking in the Northern Territory said safety could be assured if its 135 recommendations were implemented.

Inquiry chair Rachel Pepper said the recommendations form “a complete package”, and that each one had to be implemented in full if the Government decides to lift the current ban on fracking.

“The final report makes no recommendations as to the retaining or lifting of the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing currently in place in the Northern Territory,” Ms Pepper said.

“As I have reiterated throughout this inquiry, that is a matter for government.

“Rather what the final report does is make recommendations to mitigate, to acceptable levels, the risks associated with any onshore shale gas development in the Northern Territory, if the moratorium is lifted.”

The NT moratorium has been in place since the inquiry was launched in September 2016.

During the inquiry process, dozens of climate scientists signed an open letter warning that new shale gas fields would be too risky.

The final report notes there is “a strong antipathy” towards fracking within the community.

“For a significant majority of the people participating in the inquiry, the overwhelming consensus was that hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas in the NT is not safe, is not trusted and is not wanted,” the report states.

The report says “NT and Australian governments [should] seek to ensure that there is no net increase in the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in Australia from any onshore shale gas produced in the NT”.

“The community expressed their very robust concern about the impact that any further release of methane gas would have on climate change,” Mrs Pepper said.

“So we recommended there be no net gain in the inventory in relation to greenhouse gases and the NT and Australian governments work together to ensure there would be an offset effectively.”

Mrs Pepper said another critical recommendation was for the industry regulator to be reformed.

The inquiry proposes the arm of government that promotes the industry and deals with tenure and operation be separated from the arm that regulates its environmental compliance.

A second option for reform would be to create an independent ‘one-stop shop’ regulator.

It also called for the Water Act to be amended so that gas companies are made to obtain a water extraction license, and for government to start charging for water for onshore shale gas activities.

“The gas industry should be made to pay for the water that is used,” Mrs Pepper said.

Another recommendation is for pastoralists to be given even footing with gas companies when negotiating land access agreements.

“At the end of the day it's the Crown that owns everything beneath the surface, and a veto right would fundamentally change that,” Mrs Pepper said.

“It would have made the Northern Territory the only jurisdiction in Australia to have such a right.”

Before any production could be approved, the changes would require a Strategic Regional Environmental Baseline Assessment to be conducted.

The report specifically calls for such a review in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, where the industry is considered most likely to start if the moratorium ends.

The NT Government says it will consider the report carefully, and has indicated that all 135 recommendations would be implemented if the moratorium were to be lifted.

The Territory’s Opposition wants the moratorium on hydraulic fracking to be lifted immediately.