Roads, hospitals, schools or fracked gas?


p2217-fracking-5By ERWIN CHLANDA
“Nothing has been committed at this stage” is the reply we got today from the minder of Treasurer Dave Tollner when we asked her how much of the NT Infrastructure Development Fund will be used for the planned gas pipeline.
That means it is not ruled out that the project transporting gas obtained by fracking may get public money from the $1b fund announced by Chief Minister Adam Giles yesterday: $200m of that fund would come from the sale of TIO, supplemented by $800m from “Australian and overseas investors”.
The controversial fracking, to be sure, doesn’t get a mention in Mr Giles’s media release yesterday, which touts a “diversified portfolio … such as roads, hospitals, schools and agricultural projects”.
But the Frack Free Alliance fears that funding for gas is front and centre. In a media release emailed at four minutes past midnight this morning, the group attacks Mr Giles for his commitment of “funds from the unpopular sale of a prized public asset … to develop an even more unpopular and uneconomic fracked gas industry”.
The group refers to the Financial Review of September 23 from which it can be concluded that the major proposed fracker in the NT, Santos, may well be needing a helping hand: “Beleaguered oil and gas producer Santos is getting serious on its asset sale process, having worked up a comprehensive marketing strategy that packages up key assets into parcels that have attracted interest far and wide.
“The first of the four separate portfolios is focused on Eastern Australia, comprising the Cooper Basin, Gunnedah Basin, offshore Victoria, Surat and Bowen Basins and onshore NT.
“Santos spruiked the assets in the flier with references to an ‘integrated production operation encompassing producing fields and processing, transportation and export infrastructure’, ‘favourable gas dynamics’ and ‘world-scale unconventional resource potential’,” reports the Fin Review.
Frack Free Alliance also points to a Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
Deloitte makes predictions about “success” and “aspirational” scenarios of gas production.
It details the more optimistic aspirational scenario: “Onshore shale and tight gas production has the potential to drive significant economic growth and provide substantial benefits to the Northern Territory (NT) economy.
• A cumulative $22.4b increase in Gross State Product (GSP) between 2020 and 2040 in net present value (NPV) terms.
• A long term employment boost of 6,300 full time positions in the NT.
• A cumulative $961m increase in NT Government revenues between 2020 and 2040 in NPV terms.
That increased revenue to the NT Government would be a very modest average of $48m a year from an industry planned to cover most of the Territory.


  1. Long term the equation is fracked gas plus NEGI equals millions more for roads, schools and hospitals.
    And that’s for the next 20 years or more.
    These gas royalties come to us, not the Feds.
    Giles needs to stick to his guns now and act in the interests of all Territorians.
    He can cave in to short term thinkers and bullying green interest groups or secure our economic future.

  2. That is if we have water to drink in the 20 years you project.
    It takes so much water to make everything we produce and own. The hidden use of water is known as virtual water. Nearly 90 percent of the consumption of the world’s fresh water supply is used for producing food and energy.
    You might not realize this but it takes 1.5 tonnes of water to make a computer and six tonnes to make a pair of jeans. So it’s not surprising that the annual global virtual water trade is the equivalent of 10 Nile Rivers.
    Sadly, our unsustainable use of water is running in short supply. The Dailymail reports on recent studies that found that the water demand will exceed the water supply by 40% in two decades.
    Why is there such a poor outlook for our global water supply, exactly? Well, there are two reasons: blame population growth and climate change.
    In 20 years, a third of the global population will only have half the amount of water we need, which will put a strain on industry and agriculture.
    So we do not need the risk of pollution, because when is done, is done.
    Waterworld (1995) movie, will probably be a reality.


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