No sense in water search without fracking moratorium


p2142-Jimmy-CockingLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Arid Lands Environment Centre supports investment in exploration for water resources but is concerned that the pace of water exploration is outstripped by development applications that exploit the resources.
We have a Northern Territory Government that has currently locked itself in with shale gas exploration that uses the inherently risky process of fracking, while also over-allocating water resources in at least one basin in the NT.
The process for water planning in the region is backwards. The planning process for water in the NT is a shemozzle. Firstly the strategic indigenous water reserves were removed. Then we had a review of the Water Allocation Plan with the extraction caps removed and then not taken back to the community for consultation.
Meanwhile, an application to triple water extraction from Rocky Hill to almost a third of the town’s annual use was being considered, as a discussion with Territorians on Our Water Future was started.
The NT Government needs to consider the long-term implications of resource development for Central Australia. It is good that money is being invested in understanding the water resource, but this has to be matched with responsible policy making.
‘The current approach to environmental impact assessments is that the impact of each project is considered in a vacuum to everything else. This can no longer be the case, the cumulative impacts of  the vast multitude of industries being proposed out here must consider the individual impacts of the whole.
The NT Government must use the information from its drilling program to build a knowledge bank that allows for the sustainable development of the water resource. However, the big concern is that venturing down this path without a moratorium on fracking in the NT will see the tragic abuse of our most precious common pool resource – the groundwater that nurtures all life out here.
Jimmy Cocking (pictured)
Director, Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC)


  1. What an utterly ridiculous comment Jimmy, not only grossly inaccurate but attempting to load up a very worthwhile research project, one that should return very useful information about resource location and quantities with a whole load of anti fracking garbage!
    A completely unrelated subject! That’s the trouble with you Greens, Jimmy, a whole lot of BS propaganda and no knowledge!
    Rocky Hill was applying for a water application that has been contained or set aside within the Water Allocation Plan for that purpose all along.
    The water cap was a BS lefty attempt backed up by what was at that time a neglectful Labor Government to shut down growth in our town.
    When research shows us where the water is along with the depth of the aquifers within which it is contained you’ll be able to caution against fracking with some authority!
    So, Jimmy, instead of automatically knocking everything, when government does the right thing by putting money into areas that actually suit your agenda, have the guts to back them up!
    Or is it that you are simply anti everything?
    No wonder you struggle for credibility on the funding front.

  2. Mr Cocking, one thing I do agree on is that fracking should not ever be allowed.
    It is strange that Australian politicians allow anything that is proven to have detrimental effects on water supplies and environment in general and greedy shareholders will vote on anything that will guarantee them wealth at the expense of everyone else’s health and the future of our children.
    So Jimmy, when it comes to fracking keep up your opposition for the sake of all, but no doubt the Government and the miners will find some broken down “expert” to write a report to give this insidious practice the all clear.

  3. Lol Steve Brown. You take swipe at Jimmy Cocking and credibility? His debates often have more logic than yours. Go and join Council, Jimmy!

  4. I’d vote for you Jimmy … at least you’re not follicularly challenged … can’t trust those bald men bearing gifts.


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