Pipeline: Is Adam Giles loyal to NSW or the NT?


p2142-Jimmy-CockingBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The pipeline cat is out of the bag: What Chief Minister Adam Giles is offering to all-comers are the Territory’s massive onshore gas reserves accessible, at least partly, only by fracking.
But the local environment lobby is saying Mr Giles is selling out his own constituency to provide gas to the NSW where fracking is a political liability because of wide-spread community concern.
“NSW communities have stood up strongly,” says Jimmy Cocking (above left), of the Arid Lands Environment Centre. He says Mr Giles is gearing up to do deals while an inquiry into fracking in the NT is still under way.
Announcing the opening of expressions of interest for the project today, Giles says in a media release: “It is estimated that the Territory has more than 200 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas resources in six onshore basins and 30 trillion cubic feet of conventional offshore reserves.”
“Unconventional gas resources” is code for needing to use the controversial fracking process to recover the resource.
Says Mr Giles: “The pipeline, known as the North East Gas Interconnector, offers the private sector a unique opportunity to lead the development of a nationally significant infrastructure project.
“States along the eastern seaboard urgently need to find new sources of energy and the interconnector is an attractive solution.”p2162-gas-pipeline
Submissions close on December 15. The options are a pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa or from Alice Springs to Moomba in SA.
With no takers for the project in hand yet, Mr Giles has already signed an MOU with the New South Wales Premier Mike Baird granted the scheme Major Project Status.
Mr Giles remains unavailable to answer questions.
Mr Cocking says 90% of the NT land mass depends on groundwater for it survival. He says gas escaping to the surface and coming out of water taps is not scare-mongering, but these are well documented events the world over where fracking is used.
“No fracking pipeline, that’s our line,” says Mr Cocking.
IMAGE: Pipelines International.


  1. The looming gas shortage in NSW is a lie. NSW has plenty of gas its just that so much of it is being sold overseas.
    This shortage has been manufactured. Do we want to support this ridiculous situation where we assist big business to sell our assets at an ever increasing rate for their own gain, until there is none left and we have to buy it in from overseas or crank up the old combustion stove?

  2. Like virtually any contemporary issue in local media, the apparently imminent go-ahead of a gas pipeline from Central Australia to New South Wales (or to Mt Isa) isn’t new: “If Mereenie gas is hooked into the proposed Gidgea-Adelaide pipeline, it will mean a sound insurance against the South Australian field ever giving out.
    “Other eyes are on Mereenie. It has already been suggested that gas be piped from the Centre to Sydney and Melbourne (what the NSW coalies will think of this is anybody’s guess), but the salient fact remains that in the Amadeus basin the Northern Territory has what could well become one of the great petroleum provinces of the world.
    “In the interests of Northern development, therefore, it seems vital that gas from Mereenie should first be utilised to exploit the astonishing industrial potential of the Territory only awaiting the advent of cheap power, before any interstate claims on the gas are recognised”.
    In light of the news of the major fertilizer manufacturer Incitec Pivot signing a heads-of-agreement deal with Central Petroleum to supply natural gas for ammonia fertilizer production should the pipeline to NSW proceed, it’s worth quoting the following: “For natural gas is not only a source of cheap power. It is a raw material from which fertilizers, plastics, and synthetic fibres are manufactured.
    “A pipeline would give Darwin a manufacturing potential backed by heavy industries and, most important, provide fertilizers for a high rainfall region where the economic development of low fertility soils demands extensive use of fertilizers whose import costs are currently prohibitive”.
    I could quote considerably more but I think the point of my observation is sufficiently made; however, what’s interesting here is the date of publication. I’ve quoted from an article entitled “South Australia’s premier has eye on NT gas producing potential” published in the Centralian Advocate on November 19, 1964 – exactly half a century ago.
    Only two months later the ABC reported “a combine headed by a group of the major trading banks in Australia has agreed to underwrite the cost of constructing a gas pipeline from Central Australia to Sydney to the tune of £190,000,000”.
    The crusading editor of the Centralian Advocate, the late Paddy Ethell, lamented: “But the Trading Banks and private enterprise have been quick to recognise the fact that Mereenie gas could be harnessed – and piped to Sydney. Is then, the doleful spectacle of the Northern Territory as a ‘hole in the ground for interstate interests’, to be repeated?” (February 4, 1965).
    At a press conference in Alice Springs on December 14, 1964, the Minister for Territories, Charles Barnes, stated “the Government had no immediate plans for considering the use of Mereenie gas in developing industries in the Northern Territory” as “it would be uneconomical to construct a gas pipeline from Mereenie to Darwin … because he was hopeful that we’d find oil and probably gas in the Northern end”.
    So exactly half a century later we find a Chief Minister of the Northern Territory who comes from New South Wales favouring the development of a gas pipeline from the Centre to NSW, with the first major customer a fertilizer manufacturer that would no doubt ship its product to the Top End to facilitate the development of agriculture and horticulture industries as part of the current push (yet again) to develop the North.
    Of course, the gas pipeline from the Centre to Darwin was eventually built. The negotiations for its construction were finalised by Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth in December 1984, almost exactly 30 years ago. Tuxworth originally came from NSW!
    It seems the spirit of this wide brown land is trying to tell us something …

  3. Look at Giles overall objective – the CLP will be beaten at the next election and he is preparing for his return to NSW, either to enter into state politics or a safe Federal seat. Who knows what deals he and Tollner have been doing, they really can’t get
    off the political gravy train, can they?
    So in advance, bye bye Adam and Dave – such a pair of evil twins who don’t really care about the Territory or their electorates!

  4. This article makes no sense. Nor do Mr Cocking’s comments. The pipeline is a win-win.
    It means no fracking in NSW farm-land (good for the environment) and the NT will have customers to sell their conventional gas resources too.
    How does this make Mr Giles loyal to NSW? This article is a mess.


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