LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Giles Government’s controversial plans for a speedy NT gas pipeline to the Eastern states are stuck at the starting blocks, with the NT Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement before the project can proceed.
The EPA says water resources, land, local infrastructure and even the safety of tourists may be negatively impacted if the pipeline proceeds:-
• There are risks of the project not realising its projected economic and social impacts.
• Potential to damage local infrastructure and impact on the safety of local users, including seasonal tourists.
• Potential impacts on stakeholders, including land holders including Traditional Owners.
The NT Government’s pipe-dream Gas Link Project, with the Chief Minister’s timeframe to have the pipeline under construction by as early as next year, now is in tatters.
Meanwhile analysts are casting doubt over the long-term profitability of the INPEX gas project near Darwin, and other major LNG projects.
Considering the predicted continuation of a depressed international gas market, this pipeline is an expensive and ill-timed foray by the NT Government, with more than $10 million already wasted.
The expansion of a risky shale gas industry in the Territory will put our water, people and the environment at risk for no demonstrable economic return.
Our concerns are not only around the risks of the pipeline itself, but of the risks from new shale gas fracking projects that this pipeline could drive across the NT, all to feed export gas terminals on the east coast.
The pipeline is being spruiked based on an economic myth that it will supply a shortage of east coast gas, but recent reports have shown no such shortage exists.
We are calling on the EPA to extend their public consultation period for the EIS Terms of Reference, to ensure all impacted stakeholders have the best chance to have their say.
Central Australian Frack Free Alliance
0409 886 129
UPDATE Sept 11, 2:40pm
The Alice Springs News Online asked Ms Hall to give details of the $10m government expenditure.
She pointed out the following item in the 2015 NT Budget, Paper 3, page 30: $9.2 million to drive private sector development of a gas pipeline connecting the Territory to the national pipeline grid to open up new markets for Territory gas producers, grow the Territory’s oil and gas sector and support the creation of new industries and employment.
Ms Hall also said: “Further money has been spent on advertising and regional development seminar promotion of the tender process etc through the Chief Minister’s office.”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR