LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – It is quite understandable that Chief Minister Gunner was not impressed with my showtime attire. The shirt I was wearing carried the logo Ban Fracking – Gunner the Betrayer.
The Chief Minster, aided by his Deputy Nicole Manison, endeavoured to avoid speaking to me, however I persisted and raised the matter of the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing having been lifted by an undemocratic process early in 2018.
The decision was made by a mere eight of our twenty five MLAs.
The Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson was one of the 17 MLAs who were deprived of a vote when the decision to lift the moratorium was made. When I raised this matter with the Chief Minister I was told by him that Sandra did get a vote when the decision was made.
I then spoke to Sandra and after initially not wanting to communicate with me, she told me that she did vote on the matter and that she voted in line with with Labor Party policy to lift the moratorium.
The voting that Sandra referred to was not in the Legislative Assembly but was merely a Caucus vote by the 18 Labor parliamentarians. Sandra is the leader of the Labor Caucus so it is not surprising that she voted the way she did.
Voting in the Caucus was behind closed doors. Openness and transparency do not prevail with Caucus voting.
On previous occasions when Sandra has been asked about this matter she has flatly refused to speak about it saying that it is confidential information. She has claimed that it was a democratic process. I suspect that the majority of Sandra’s constituents would disagree with her on that point.
Sandra was elected on an anti-fracking platform in an electorate where there is strong opposition to fracking. She is personally opposed to fracking but when the ‘chips’ were down she toe’d the party line and voted contrary to her own personal view and against the wishes of the majority of her constituents.
The message on the shirt Gunner the Betrayer could equally be applied to the Member for Katherine. Both Michael Gunner and Sandra Nelson have shamelessly betrayed Territorians.
Fracking is lunacy. The Northern Territory is being driven into oblivion by politicians who seem to be intent only on being re-elected.
Bruce Francais (pictured)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR