Minister calls on traditional owners to support resource industry



Our resource industry, the Territory itself and the gas sector will not reach their full potential “without close collaboration by traditional owners of the land on which we operate. Aboriginal people must not only be part of the economic development but driving it with us so they can benefit from jobs, better services and a better quality of life”.

NT Mines Minister Nicole Manison scored applause for this statement when she addressed the 200 delegates, 60% from interstate, to the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs this morning.

She said despite Covid more than $110m was spent on mineral exploration in the NT in 2020, just 16% down on the previous year.

The resource industry, already the Territory’s “biggest industry and single largest generator of export revenue … is poised to take a leading role” in creating a $40 billion economy in 2030 during its post-pandemic reconstruction.

As a major announcement Minister Manison said the government is committed to permanent funding of $9.5m every year to expand, by $3m a year, the “hugely successful” Territory Resourcing Initiative instead of closing down, as planned, exploration stimulus programs this year.

Again applause.

This would be expanded from greenfield programs to now include brownfield ones as well.

Minister Manison said: “There are probably few examples in Australia where a program of pre-competitive geosciences led to an uptake of tenure of such a large area in such a short period. This is testament to the potential of the region.”

She described the gas-rich Beetaloo Basin as the “the next big play nationally and internationally” where Origin and Empire Energy, drilling two wells, both discovering liquid rich gas, “a critical step forward of assessing the viability of large scale production in the basin”.

She said in January $217m was announced as part of the Territory’s “gas industry roads upgrades program” in addition to $150m for the Carpentaria Highway.

PHOTO (from left): Minister Manison, Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Alice Springs airport stall staff including CEO Dave Batic and Mr Scrimgeour, Executive Director NT Geological Survey, this morning at AGES.


  1. Please explain: IEEFA Australia: Beetaloo is a sink-hole which the gas industry itself isn’t even investing in? The Federal government’s $50m handout to the Northern Territory’s failing gas industry to fast-track exploration in the Beetaloo Basin is a waste of taxpayer money that will bring zero return. Bruce Robertson December 21, 2020
    Minerals are a nonrenewable resource, and because of this, the life of mines is finite, and mining represents a temporary use of the land.
    The mining life cycle during this temporary use of the land can be divided into the following stages: exploration, development, extraction and processing, and mine closure.
    The environmental responsibility of mining operations is protection of the air, land, and water.
    Mining can cause physical disturbances to the landscape, creating eyesores such as waste-rock piles and open pits.
    Such disturbances may contribute to the decline of wildlife and plant species in an area. In addition, it is possible that many of the premining surface features cannot be replaced after mining ceases.
    Water-pollution problems caused by mining include acid mine drainage, metal contamination, and increased sediment levels in streams.
    Sources can include active or abandoned surface and underground mines, processing plants, waste-disposal areas, haulage roads, or tailings ponds. Sediments, typically from increased soil erosion, cause siltation or the smothering of stream beds. This siltation affects fisheries, swimming, domestic water supply, irrigation, and other uses of streams.
    Iron and aluminium compounds be can enter the environment in a number of ways, such as free-draining piles of waste rock that are exposed to intense rainstorms, transporting large amounts of acid into nearby rivers; groundwaters that enter underground workings which become acidic and exit via surface openings or are pumped to the surface; and acidic tailings containment ponds that may leach into surrounding land.

  2. Aboriginal people must learn that what we think is good for them and their country is what they should do.

  3. Oh dear!
    Where do you start?
    Gas is a fossil fuel!
    We’ve got to stop using this stuff, and the rest of the world is rapidly moving in that direction.
    Meanwhile Gunner and Co are throwing your money and mine at what will surely be valueless assets.
    Stranded assets.
    The conventional gas we have already got flowing is enough for our “transition”.

  4. What a joke! Calling on TOs when the government wants something but do not listen to the TOs on other issues. Go and take a run and jump, NT Government.

  5. If Gunner calls on traditional owners to support resource industry he is obliged to respect their wishes for the Art Gallery.
    The Arrernte people are the traditional owners of Mparntwe (Alice Springs). They have been here since time immemorial. In the beginning, Altyerrenge – ancestral figures – created the landscape and its features, as well as Arrernte law.
    If Alice Springs and its elected representatives seriously want to make the case for national Indigenous cultural institutions to be located here, they could look to, in the immediate term, the care and protection of Mparntwe.

  6. Getting the TOs to do something, after having done virtually nothing for 1,000s of years, by giving them everything for nothing in return, says a lot about the present government’s thought processes.

  7. Well done on getting a photo of the elusive CM and the pearl wearing minister. Lots of hype and deflection from these two. When will the apologist for criminals destroying this town front Alice media and the people?
    Come on CM they say you are back here tomorrow although no one but your inner circle would know, as usual.


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