COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA
Government by information-poor, staged media events has become the trademark for the Chief Ministership of Adam Giles.
Yesterday he signed a memorandum of understanding with NSW Premier Mike Baird (at left in the photo) for a gas pipeline, chronicled by the ABC TV News.
The media release from both is short of detail (see the full text at the bottom of this report).
Meanwhile we sent the following request on October 14 for information about the $1.2b project to Mr Giles – and to his Ministerial colleagues Chandler, Willem Westra van Holthe and Styles. We still have no answer.
• How many people will be engaged in its construction?
• How many people will be engaged in its operation once completed?
• How much gas is required to make it feasible?
• 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?
• 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?
Joint Media Release (yesterday)
NSW Premier Mike Baird and NT Chief Minister Adam Giles today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work closely on the development of a pipeline connecting the Northern and Eastern Gas Markets.
Under the MOU, the NSW and NT Governments will cooperate to accelerate and promote development of a national and competitive domestic gas market.
Mr Baird said: “The NSW Government recognises the benefits a gas pipeline connecting the Northern Territory and eastern seaboard would have for consumers in NSW.
“We are actively exploring all possibilities to increase gas supply to our domestic consumers and this MOU is an important step in offering NSW Government support to the process now underway.
“By establishing a national grid we can help secure our energy needs and put downward pressure on household bills.
“Without affordable and reliable gas supplies our manufacturers will struggle to compete and households will pay higher prices.”
Mr Giles said: “A gas pipeline between Central Australia and the East Coast is both a win for the Territory economy and a win for states such as New South Wales that urgently need to secure an affordable new energy supply.
“Momentum for this nation-building project has been growing since the recent COAG meeting where leaders voiced unanimous support for the pipeline. It is fantastic to now also have a specific MOU with NSW agreeing to work together on this project.
“The Territory Government understands that time is of the essence and we are doing everything we can to get this project off the ground as quickly as possible.
“More than 100 people from all sectors of the gas industry turned out at an industry briefing in Alice Springs last week to hear more details about the project.
“Expressions of interest from the private sector for building and operating the pipeline open on the 13th of November and we are expecting strong interest.”
COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA