NT Ministers win inaugural Mushroom Award


p2157-mushroom-awardFour NT Government Ministers have the honour of sharing the inaugural Mushroom Award, an initiative of the Alice Springs News Online to encourage government responsiveness, honesty and transparency.
They are (at right, top to bottom) Willem Westra van Holthe (Mining), Peter Styles (Infrastructure), Peter Chandler MLA (Lands, Planning and the Environment), and Chief Minister Adam Giles.
After Mr Giles recently rubbed shoulders with seasoned Federal politicians, touting a $1.2b gas pipeline from the Territory, we sent the following questions to him and his three colleagues. Mr Giles is looking for someone to pay for the project. We sent the questions on October 14 and again on October 16 to the four Ministers to the email addresses nominated on the NT Government web page about the Cabinet. We still don’t have single answer.
These are the questions:-
How many people will be engaged in [the pipeline’s] construction?
How many people will be engaged in its operation once completed?
How much gas is required to make it feasible?p2146-Peter-Styles
How many wells would that gas come from?
How many of them in Central Australia (= southern half of the NT)?
How many of these wells would require fracking?
How many would be on pastoral land?p2006PeterChandler2
How many on Aboriginal land?
What would the NT Government get out of the venture?
How would the community of Central Australia benefit from that venture?
What is the money value included in these benefits – NT government, community?
Over what period of time?
Fortuitously, the Centralian Advocate came to the rescue with their page three lead on October 17 quoting Mr Giles as saying the project “could funnel ‘hundreds or thousands’ of jobs into Central Australia” and that there “was ‘enormous interest’ from ‘many, many companies wanting to get involved'”.
The Alice Springs News Online feels the four NT frontbenchers have truly earned our award.


  1. Honesty and transparency would be considered “negative” words that stand in the way of progress. It’s “positive” to not ask questions about the government’s performance.

  2. If there was no environmental harm, no government money required for the project and no better option for energy. The other questions would not be important.
    Unfortunately that is not the case on all three counts.

  3. Instead of piping the gas interstate, would it not be possible to firstly supply the town of Alice Springs with gas piped to their houses – this would cut down the amount of electricity needed, and would be a very positive move for the residents of Alice Springs.

  4. They say a vote counts, but dammit mine never seems to. I’m always left wondering who votes for the ratbags. I certainly don’t.
    Transparency in Government has never been its strong point, so, it’s left me wondering if I have any say, in digging the place up, fracking, and living with nuclear waste. Whom do I blame for even considering this?

  5. Only four nominees? Ask enough questions on a number of topics to both sides and you could get a mushroom factory.


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