Fracking inquiry left me thankful, fearful, focused



Sir – I am thankful that our community was widely consulted and recorded widespread community opposition to fracking, which Inquiry Chair Justice Pepper described as ‘robust and respectful’.
I am fearful that the Inquiry’s narrow terms of reference have resulted in recommendations that leave the door open for NT government approval – excluding the global impact on climate change and excluding comparisons with renewable energy weaken the recommendations and undermine any “social contract” the NT government needs from Territorians.
Even Justice Pepper and her panel of scientists accept the science of the impacts of climate change. But climate change is excluded from their terms of reference and recommendations.
Their job projections also mislead readers by excluding any comparison with renewable energy jobs.
I am fearful that short-term, self-interest, fossil fuel supporters are pressuring our government to go slow on renewables, long enough to lock Centralians into fracking to pay off past gas contracts and our 10 new gas generators at Owen Springs, as well as exporting gas through the North-East Connector (owned by the Singapore and Chinese governments) while they can still make a profit.
We need to remain focused on building widespread community awareness of the self-interest spin that is undermining community action and confidence in our current NT decision making processes.
Let’s focus on the big picture vision with bold action, like South Australia’s virtual power plant with Tesla or New York City suing big oil companies.
Roadmaps, research and reports are not enough. Every reader needs to support courageous action. We, our children’s children and our planet deserve it now.
Chris Hawke

Alice Springs



  1. Good news is that if the Inquiry recommends that fracking can be regulated, there’s sure to be another moratorium and Inquiry the next year – just like last time in NT and in WA.
    If the Inquiry recommends a ban we’ll see energy transition – just like in SA and Victoria.
    My advice to the panel and the government is to save energy, and recommend / implement a ban on fracking with this Inquiry.

  2. @Rosalie Schultz. “If the Inquiry recommends a ban we’ll see energy transition – just like in SA and Victoria”
    I doubt in reality you would want to experience the transition like down here in Vic and SA.
    SA dangles perilously close to statewide blackouts relying on backup from a Vic power grid that is under incredible stress as Victorian households are paying the world’s highest power prices.
    With no short term solution on the Labor Left Green SA and Vic government horizon.
    Trust me on this one, it is a state of crisis for average punters down here in Mexico who have trouble making ends meet.
    While the comfortably salaried soy latte-sipping Green control freak moralists of Lygon Street take in the morning sunshine at their trendy footpath cafes lecturing us “Suck it up,losers. We are doing this for your long term benefit”.
    They say nothing when you ask them: Where are we going to get the money to pay our power bills right now? No answers forthcoming.

  3. @ Rosalie Schultz: Amazing that somebody would want the electrical power disaster that is SA/Vic here in the NT, where both states can’t produce /generate enough power for their own usage but hey, at least they have a battery to back them up. Or at least some of them. No, maybe a few in certain areas.
    Yes, I can hardly wait to sell off my first born (sorry son) to pay for some electrickery. While all the simple folk of Alice Springs huddle around the warming glow of a flickering lamp.
    Yep, can’t wait to be like SA/Vic and we are lucky enough to have a concerted push locally by our green tinged eco-warriors to bring us to the promised land and economic chaos as soon as possible.

  4. Dear Mr Hawke, if you want to try the SA and the Vic experience it goes something like this:
    Energy reliability is virtually zero compared to what it used to be (when we had a coal fired power station).
    Electricity prices doubled and then some to achieve the highest in the world (before the coal fired power station shut down).
    Mega millions urgent investment in gas generators to keep the lights on.
    If you think this is good for the environment, try this: You can’t buy a diesel generator as businesses have snapped them up. They run diesel to ensure they have electricity supply, it is cheaper than grid electricity and it is more reliable, and guess what, it produces more emissions and so your facile argument to save the planet is not practical at all.
    Lovely to have such lofty ideals, just not practical, and if I were you I would fight tooth and nail for the lifting of the moratorium so you can get low cost reliable energy, since whatever change to emissions etc the NT could do would have zero impact on the global position.


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