LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Giles government secretly signed away 15,000 square kilometres of Northern Territory land for coal mining and exploration south of Alice Springs.
The sugar coated deal gives the Texas company Tri Star a six year exclusive period to explore the Pedrika Basin. The deal was signed the day before the NT government went into caretaker mode.
It was never discussed publically and only released in the Government Gazette. Normal practices have been by-passed in the granting of these leases.
The Giles government continues to betray the people in the NT and makes secret deals from the top end to the desert.
This is a dirty deal done by a dirty government who wants dirty water and dirty air.
Dalton Dupuy (pictured)
Greens candidate for Braitling
The Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy rejects any suggestion that any arrangement with Tri-Star involved special treatment or was a sweetheart deal, says Ron Kelly, the Chief Executive of the department.
“These applications have not been approved. The department will ensure that mineral authority applications must follow the well-established assessment process as with all other Mineral Title applications.”
Mr Kelly says this includes notifications about the proposed Mineral Authorities, to be published tomorrow.
“Tri-Star has acquired a number of mineral exploration licences in Central Australia through standard processes over the last 15 years. Tri-Star has met all of its obligations under the Mineral Titles Act.
“The applications by Tri-Star—where Mineral Authorities may replace the existing granted exploration licences—is a practice that is within the bounds of the Mineral Titles Act. This provides a six-year arrangement, rather than the current two years, and provides greater security for exploration investment.
Importantly, the Titles are still reviewed in the same cycle as the current exploration licences (every two years) to ensure that the company continues to meets all obligations of the Mineral Titles Act. It should be noted that in other jurisdictions such titles can be up to 10 years.”