'Government's secret decision making'


2543 Bruce Francais 130LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The vast majority of Territorians are opposed to hydraulic fracturing however only eight of our 25 MLAs were involved in the decision making process when the moratorium on fracking was lifted.
Eighteen Labor MLAs were able to discuss the matter in caucus but this discussion was behind closed doors.
Two Country Liberal MLAs and five Independents, together with 10 Labor MLAs, were not involved when the decision to lift the moratorium was made.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner together with Ministers Fyles, Lawler, McCarthy, Manison, Moss, Vowles and Wakefied were the panel members who made the decision.
It is believed that one of them opposed the decision however with the secrecy that has been displayed it is not known by Territorians who it was. We the members of the public have been treated like mushrooms and kept in the dark.
Constituents of 17 electorates, were effectively deprived of a voice when this extremely important decision was made. While any adverse effects of fracking will be felt primarily in regional areas of the Territory, seven of the decision makers are from suburban electorates.
It is now known that the Labor Party itself is strongly opposed to a decision that has been made by its own parliamentary wing.
Australia is a democratic nation. Residents of any such nation have a right to know which way their elected representatives vote on all issues.
With the hydraulic fracturing issue being so controversial and of such importance for our own and future generations, it is imperative that Territorians know which way the individual panel members voted.
When Mr Gunner took office as the Chief Minister late in 2016, he assured people in the NT that his government would be open and transparent. He should now be thoroughly ashamed of himself for his administration’s lack of openness and transparency over this matter.
Bruce Francais (pictured)


  1. So Mr Gunner is telling us there is no reason to vote for many of the Labor pollies as they won’t be allowed to represent us in important decision making in Parliament. What do we pay them for if they aren’t allowed to represent us?

  2. So decisions are made behind closed doors.
    So they refuse to explain their decisions.
    Many believe such is evidence of corruption.
    Q.1: Is each representative making these decisions individually corrupt?
    Q.2: Is the Parliament corrupt when letting them refuse to explain their individual decisions?
    Q.3: Is it party policy, party membership, which demands such corruption ?
    Elected Parliamentarians are granted considerable authority – with accountability, to make decisions.
    Such authority requires clear explanations for each of their decisions.
    It is the duty for all Members to ensure each answers the questions.


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