LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – This is an Open Letter to the Chief Minister.
The NT Government recently arranged for the Adelaide based McGregor Tan market research company to convene two focus groups in Katherine to assess community feeling on the controversial issue of fracking.
Community members were invited to attend the 90 minute forums and were offered $100 each to do so.
It amazes me to think that a government that is presently in the deepest financial hole that it has ever been in, and is already well aware of intense public concern over fracking within the Katherine community, would go to such measures.
Attendance at the focus groups was very limited.
Several long term community members who are known to be opposed to fracking were excluded from attending.
Other community members were either unable to make contact with Mc Gregor Tan online or when emailing or phoning to make inquires about attending were informed that there were no vacancies.
It is very likely of course that the main motivating factor for some who attended the focus groups was the financial inducement.
Feedback to community members from some of the participants indicates that the majority of citizens who went to the forums are opposed to fracking. It also became very clear that there is a tremendous level of distrust of the government.
Last year when the CLP introduced a motion into Parliament calling for the lifting of the moratorium, Labor MLAs voted unanimously to oppose it.
Shortly afterwards your administration demonstrated its un-trustworthiness when it used an undemocratic process to lift the moratorium, contrary to the wishes of most Territorians.
Many Territorians do not believe that the government can be relied upon to ensure that all 135 recommendations made by the Pepper Inquiry will be adhered to by the gas mining companies.
With the method for the disposal of contaminated waste water during the fracking process already being challenged by the companies, it is not unreasonable for citizens to be concerned about this matter.
Don’t frack Katherine.
Bruce Francais (pictured)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR