By 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.”
We 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.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA