Doubts remain about independent monitoring of fracking


p2315-Dr-Tina-Hunter-1By ERWIN CHLANDA
A question about independent control of fracking operations was sidestepped when we directed further questions to Chief Minister Adam Giles following our interview with him this week.
These new questions were answered by a “government spokesman” via email.
We put to Mr Giles that the independent oversight of fracking operations is still an open question: Who is going to do it? How? How many inspectors? How transparent – can the public get access to the inspectors’ reports?
The spokesman said “there will be a role for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in monitoring operations and it will be given the resources it requires for this purpose”.
This seems to fall well short of a recommendation by energy law expert Tina Hunter (pictured above), who advises the NT Government and who says fracking wells should be inspected by “third party experts”.
She said on July 14: “The requirements for monitoring will be part of the resource management and administration regs that are coming next.”
p1928-Todd-Tavern-bottle-shWe also asked about the Point of Sale Intervention – cops at bottleshops: Why is the onus not placed on the liquor merchants to refuse sales to people intending to consume the liquor illegally? Why should the taxpayer pay for it and for police to do that work?
“The Government has committed to a trial of facial recognition technology at takeaway liquor outlets,” was the answer.
We asked, given the $20m in the kitty, where is national Indigenous Cultural Centre at?
The reply: “The Chief Minister has held discussions at a national level at COAG and will advance this issue with the Commonwealth, the private sector, philanthropic interests and Aboriginal organisations if re-elected.
We put to Mr Giles that the Central Land Council, over 40 years, has left no doubt that it is disinterested in economic development on Indigenous land. We asked, what has your government done to make it happen? What efforts are being made to entice local Aboriginal people to work in the Ayers Rock Resort? The spokesman replied: “A re-elected Country Liberals Government will work with individuals and communities to develop business opportunities on Aboriginal land.”


  1. Right from day one and ensuing inquiries regarding the process of hydraulic fracturing has always come back as “safe to proceed with robust regulation”.
    Which has not been “classified, proven or ratified”.
    Just about as good as giving a 10 year old a gun and advising very sternly: “Now you be careful with that thing!”

  2. Policing the take away sale of liquor is costing tax payers a fortune. Why can’t the next NT Government place the responsibility and cost back fully onto the business owners / licensees with stronger conditions to police the responsible sale of alcohol?
    That is, the police or any government authority / department that is required to spend time at these premises or time checking that the conditions of their liquor license is being complied with, should be able to invoice the business for the full cost of that service.
    The business will then pass on this cost to the people who consume these take away alcohol products. Consequently consumers and the business will be paying for the full cost of the governments involvement with the policing of these liquor licenses.
    This may then free up a little more money for health, education and rehabilitation associated with the excessive use of alcohol, or should these cost also be put on the price of take away alcohol?

  3. # Fracking requires either independent supervision, or more open publication of the reporting of testing process and results so public aware what actually happening.
    # Cops at Bottleshops – a poor use of resources. The simplest solution is to resume scans of photo IDs to check buyers are not on the banned List.
    # Public funding process needs be more open, applications received, processing stages, then final decisions to offer, whether as loans or grants, throughout the process up till completed, so that expenditure remains in accordance with T and C.
    # Central Land Council: Since established the CLC maintained ongoing disinterest, indeed open discouragement, towards social improvement and economic development upon lands they manage for corporate owning Land Trusts.
    Both Corporate Land Trusts and the managers are demonstrating preferences for extortion opportunities, all the while adopting totalitarian behaviors ignoring and denying basic human rights otherwise robustly retained and defended for fellow Australians.
    Responsibility for this rests clearly with the Commonwealth, not the NT Government.
    The Commonwealth’s racist and apartheid policies provide ongoing exemptions for relevant corporate Land-Trusts and Land Councils (acting as realestate management agents) are to be held accountable for their ongoing refusals to accept their landlord responsibilities.
    Commonwealth policy leaves the NTG, irrespective of parties, in control, limited to acting on Commonwealth instructions, with some filtering of the moneys, propping up Commonwealth falsehoods, and misrepresented illusions of progress.
    What progress is visible occurs despite the Commonwealth, Land Trust and Land Council.
    The Commonwealth supports failing education, failing housing, failing health, failing employment, while the Commonwealth itself fails to link its failings to the over-representation of affected persons in prisons, hospitals, self-inflicted harm and suicide rates.


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