Sex aids and fracking: Up the wrong tree


p2330-Scullion-condomsBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The ABC Insiders (inside what?) were taking the piss out of half of our representation in the Upper House, namely Senator Nigel. (Don’t click on the arrow. This is just a still photo.)
He did mean to say “condoms” and not “condiments” when he expanded on the Prime Minister’s knowledge economy message and said: “Imagine waking up one day and walking through the spinnifex and saying, I know, I can make condoms from that. Well, a bit of a stretch for us [a clever allusion to the notion that size not only matters but is in generous supply in the NT].
“But not for him,” said Nigel. By “him” he was not referring to Mr Turnbull’s anatomy but to “Saltie” which clearly points to the Senators’ long-time proximity to saltwater crocodiles.
When using men’s facilities at truck stops it is often difficult not to notice vending machines for condoms. The pitch for some claims is that they have stimulating properties but, one would imagine, to accomplish this with prickly (no pun intended) spinifex may be going a bit far.
Here is where some correction of the good Senator’s pronouncement is in order: “Saltie” is Colin Saltmere, from the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation, whose members, with thousands of years of experience with spinifex, are keen to make a dollar.
Their innovation is that spinifex could be used as an additive to make latex condoms as thin as a human hair without any loss in strength, as the ABC reported earlier this year.
Who’s laughing now, Insiders?
• • •
Isn’t surveying people of the Old Eastside about fracking like quizzing people at prayer in a mosque about Zionism?
We put that to Tanya Hall of the Frack Free Alliance.
Surprise, surprise, “603 people participated in the community survey with a significant majority of 89% (538 people) indicating they want to see Central Australia shale gasfield free,” as Ms Hall revealed this morning.
She replied to our question: “The idea of the approach is for people to door knock their neighbors and since most of the people who volunteered to participate in the survey were from Eastside, that is where we started.
“It is also Adam Giles’s electorate so is important in informing him of his constituents’ views since he has previously stated that is a small minority of people who are against fracking.”
How much more of this? It’s nearly three months to the NT election. And they complain about a long Federal campaign!


  1. Unfortunately for us, Nigel’s father had a knighthood – but his mother was Catholic and wouldn’t let him wear it.

  2. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. We both know that fracking is a destructive process in numerous ways.
    Cheap put downs is not a good look for a journalist of your experience and qualities.

  3. It is disappointing to see that a social movement, such as the one mentioned above, does not seem worthy or political debate. To trivialize issues of concern for community members is devisive and insulting.

  4. @ 2: With due respect, Dalton, the issue Erwin is raising is not whether fracking is good or bad, but whether a particular survey is a reliable indicator of public opinion or not.
    The fact that Erwin chose to use the “lowest form of wit” to raise that issue does not detract from its importance.
    Public opinion polls within themselves have the power to influence public opinion; it is important that we can rely on them as being scientifically conducted and truly reflective of what the general public believes.
    Whether he and you agree that fracking is destructive or not is a completely different issue … unless one believes that the end justifies the means.

  5. Erwin, this is a longish response and for that I hope it works. To Dave and others …
    In kinder days, our predecessors would have sat around a fire talking, sharing, representing points of view. People knew when others were lying, telling the truth, being misled or just plain unclear.
    The overwhelming bias of our age is the well funded, vested interests who buy politicians, who buy voluminous space in the media and who use the courts to further their interests. There is no scientific methodology here; there is no balanced view. It is about greed and selfishness. And the product is apathy and indifference in the community.
    Asking ones neighbours how they feel about fracking is not scientific. It is about talking, sharing and finding out how we feel about things. And I say so be it.
    Well financed vested interests use a basic technique from Sun Yat Sen’s The Art of War: It is called divide and conquer. And that is what gas companies (among other corporate bullies) and their political lackeys do and have done.
    When people talk to each other and share, they become more clear and often united. And the people in Eastside and over 300 communities have been doing that and I applaud them.


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