'CLP rehashes fracking policy that caused its wipe-out'


p2222-fracking-demo-2LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Territory Frack-Free Alliance condemns the Country Liberals over its endorsement of a rehashed pro-fracking policy at its party conference over the weekend.
Despite claims the party has undergone a serious internal review and reflection of its disastrous defeat at the last election, it is clear CLP Leader Gary Higgins and the party still have a lot to learn if it hopes to reconnect with voters by rehashing the same unpopular fracking policy that cemented the party’s historic losses in key stronghold seats.
For the CLP to have any hope of regaining the support of Territorians, it must stop lecturing and start listening on energy and economic policy.
The seats of Katherine and Braitling, belonging to the former Chief and Deputy Chief Ministers, both went to candidates running on a clear fracking moratorium platform, with strong frack-free votes helping to carry candidates over the line.
With tried and failed policy ideas like this the Country Liberals are demonstrating just how out of touch the party  remains with its former voting base.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also used the conference to call for the NT Labor Government to abandon its fracking inquiry and moratorium and “pull the trigger” for onshore fracking gasfields.
At a Federal level it appears the Prime Minister is suffering a similar case of denial about the abject failure of Australia’s foray into onshore gas.
While Turnbull lectures Territorians about the benefits of fracking, we are acutely aware that this is the same Prime Minister presiding over an unprecedented crisis in the national gas market where Australia is producing more gas than ever before, yet prices have trebled in recent years, putting jobs and households under pressure.
This crisis is exacerbated by the Turnbull government’s refusal to effectively curb gas exports that are allowing companies to drive domestic prices sky high.
Shale gas produced in the NT would be some of the world’s most expensive, and would do nothing to bring down domestic prices.
If its fracking policy is anything to go by the CLP appear willing to throw our pastoral, tourism, farming and fishing industries under the bus to support the big polluters.
Hardly a new or winning electoral strategy, but one voters have shown they stand ready to reject.
Lauren Mellor
Territory Frack-Free Alliance
PHOTO from the Alice Springs News Online archive.


  1. As somebody who has not completely made up his mind as to the dangers and/or the benefits of fracking I am amused to see the Frack Free Alliance claiming responsibility for the CLP’s demise.
    And here was I believing it was it was based on their inability to govern, their infighting, incompetence in dealing with the juvenile detainees and regular back stabbing of each other (strangely these traits are being shown by the current governing party as well).
    Since the launch of “The independent Scientific Inquiry Into Hydraulic Fracturing” and its public meeting (as reported on March 7, 2017) I was looking forward to some rational debate as well as some hard and verifiable scientific knowledge instead the meeting turned into an orchestrated farce led by anti-fracking activist Jimmy Cocking.
    He, along with the like minded cobbled together a list of concerns that would gladden the heart of every social justice warrior present, unfortunately had little or nothing to do with the term “scientific”.
    Oh well, I have little or no doubt that fracking will go ahead as it seems both the state and Federal governments want it and does this make the current inquiry to be basically a feel good exercise to appease all and sundry?
    On a side note, can’t wait to see what offends our SJWs and NGOs next.

  2. It didn’t cause the wipeout. There were many more significant reasons that the CLP were turfed from power.
    Fracking would have been just a small portion of votes against.
    And, any normal thinking person would take into account that many of those votes would not have been with them in the first place.
    To suggest that the Giles led government lost the last election based on fracking is either rank stupidity or giving that particular disaster of a government far too much credit.
    Please increase your editorial standards. This article is no better than a Today Tonight segment.

  3. Matthew, your final comment isn’t fair, I feel. The writer’s viewpoint is a pretty common one in our town and the Alice Springs News Online believed it appropriate to share the viewpoint in the interests of fairness.
    So will most. Please don’t shoot the messenger for the narrow, blinkered viewpoint represented therein.

  4. While all the focus is on fracking the $3b coal to gas plant on our doorstep at Andado is quietly going ahead.
    Arsenic / Carbon dioxide etc etc will poison the pristine environment and accelerate global warming.
    With so much gas underground why convert coal to gas?
    Cheap and dirty extraction and much worse than fracking.
    But no fracking so it’s all good.
    Where are the Greenies when you really need them?
    Go figure!
    [Hi “Peter”: The Alice Springs News Online reported on the project in a previous incarnation in December 2011, quoting Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking. “Quietly going ahead?” Reports are the new company is hoping to raise money next year. Their predecessors were flogging a dead horse, judging by the project’s lack of progress so far.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor.]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here