By ERWIN CHLANDA
Students and others will stage a demonstration at the Welcome to Alice Springs sign on the South Stuart Highway at 8.45am tomorrow “where they will tell passing motorists they want the government to fund our future not gas”. (See update below.)
Jimmy Cocking, CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Centre, says further: “The action is to protest the government’s plans to fast-track fracking the Beetaloo Basin by using taxpayer money to prop up this failing industry [that] has no place in our nation’s recovery.”
In his national energy address on September 15 Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We need to accelerate development of new basins like the Beetaloo in the Northern Territory and Narrabri in New South Wales” and he called for “bringing forward almost $10 billion of spending on new infrastructure projects, and that includes water infrastructure projects dams, pipelines, ports, railways.
“We should get more gas, more often and more reliably – by resetting our east coast gas market, unlocking additional gas to drive recovery; paving the way, ultimately, for a world-leading Australian Gas Hub to support high-wage jobs, including and especially in manufacturing.”
But Mr Cocking says: “Instead of exploiting the Beetaloo Basin, we should embrace cheaper renewable energy and champion a clean recovery.
“The majority of NT residents do not support the fracking industry and the upcoming national day of action is a chance for Alice residents to continue to call for government investment in clean energy, rather than backing gas fracking.”
PHOTO: School strike on March 15 last year, in Todd Mall.
UPDATE Sept 25, 11am
No students were present at this morning’s protest (below), attended by about 30 local activists who chanted slogans depicted on banners.