I have got some serious concerns about this project. Through …

Comment on Salt mine a great opportunity for Titjikala? by Jimmy Cocking.

I have got some serious concerns about this project. Through reading the Environmental Assessments Register regarding this project the waste repository aspect of the project would currently be exempt from any NT legislation governing waste management. This is due to the current exemption of mining, gas and petroleum activities from the Water Act and Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.

http://www.ntepa.nt.gov.au/environmental-assessments/assessment/register/chandler-salt-mine

Although the EPA has a rather comprehensive list of issues for the company to address as part of its Environmental Impact Assessment Process – the elephant in the room is the exemption of this project from the single act that governs waste management in the NT. Without any NT regulation governing the management of mining, gas, petroleum and agricultural waste products being stored in the belly of this site mine – I cannot provide any support for this project and instead warn all to read between the lines on this one.

Most of the salt is proposed for the Asian market and will end up as drilling fluid for the mining, gas and petroleum industry over there. With a much less regulated industry in SE Asia and less accountability for environmental disasters such as the Lusi or Sidoarjo mud disaster see the link below…http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/02/indonesias-infamous-mud-volcano-.html, we really have to question ourselves as to whether this truly is a project that we want to support.

If we don’t yet know how we’re going to regulate this proposal for storing waste locally – how we can be sure that this project won’t create the next mud volcano or local disaster for our northern neighbours. Yes it’s only salt – 50 million year old salt – but if it’s used for fracking and pollutes groundwater supplies elsewhere, then it’s another loss for the global population and a win for wealthy mining companies.

Recent Comments by Jimmy Cocking

Fracking key to immense NT resource wealth: Santos
@ Hal: A senseless response to a serious issue. The remaining sludge is not useful for anything except being disposed of, there is no “de-risking” of this industry, only management thereof.

Domestic prices will increase as gas is sold on the international market. The US sensibly has policies to protect its domestic reserve. Australia has none.
Therefore, Aussie gas will go global and domestic prices will go astronomical. If the politicians actually cared about us – we would have a sovereign wealth fund to support future generations rather than being frittered away as general revenue from royalties.
Also, note that there is a long way to go here. The NT Government is spending $8m over the next four years for shale gas development – yet all gas companies will still be in the exploration phase which won’t result in any gas being pumped and hence royalties for more than five years. That $8m would be better spent on developing the renewable energy which does have a proven resource.


Climate: bicycles, umbrellas, stirring placards, fuzzy feeling
Climate change is real. It doesn’t matter how journalists and editors try to downplay the seriousness or frame questions to distract from the reality. It is happening.
The rally on the weekend was part of a national response to the Abbott government’s attempts to derail the sensible approaches for Australia to ‘deal’ with the problem.
A price on carbon pollution is essential if we want to reduce emissions. Charging companies money for polluting and placing a cap on total emissions nationally will drive efficiency and innovation in the industrial sectors.
It will also provide funds for the federal government to allocate to increasing the uptake of renewable energy and drive technological breakthroughs that can be exported overseas.
Erwin’s article and his consistent approach to interviewing ALEC staff is always driven towards his own agenda – but that is Erwin’s style. Damming dry river beds and burning rubbish for power are two of Erwin’s suggested solutions from previous editions.
ALEC would like to see the NT Government take a leading role in developing regional adaptation action plans that will take into consideration disaster response plans required to deal with the growing threats from climate change.
These plans would also include aspects of the desertSMART Roadmap http://desertsmartcoolmob.org/current-projects/roadmap-to-a-desertsmart-town/ which would build the resilience of our town to climate change and other challenges.
The rally on the weekend signified that 60000 people across the country care enough about climate change to hit the streets. The movement is building nationally and we really need to thank the Abbott government for waking the population up to the fragility of the gains made under the previous government.
Abbott says he has a mandate to repeal the carbon price. He doesn’t. Abbott didn’t win the election, the ALP lost it due to their public infighting. More than 2/3 of people agree that we need to price carbon to reduce emissions quickly enough. There is plenty of evidence and support for a carbon price from the Australian business community.
Where to from here?
Forwards … going backwards is expensive and creates uncertainty for business and the economy. The movement for climate action is growing and I expect that in coming months that number of people on the streets will grow tenfold in defense of strong climate policies.
I hope the NT Government will step up to take on the challenges rather than the current approach which is supposedly … open for business. Business costs now are cheaper than they will be in the future and averting dangerous climate change is everyone’s business. We need action from all levels of government.
It’s time to get involved, send me an email at info@alec.org.au and I can add you to the climate action list – first meeting on next Thursday November 28.
And lastly, we do need to reduce the evaporation from the sewage ponds. Not by creating a smelly recreational lake or wasting cleaned ‘waste water’ for an evaporation dam.
The water would be better used productively – perhaps there are crops that would serve dual purposes – store carbon and provide other beneficial uses – Dept Primary Industries, Power Water Corporation partnership? – the eucalypts didn’t do so well.
Collaboration – which means working together is how society will navigate through the greatest challenge of this generation. Businesses, the community sector, government and citizens are all partners in the outcome.
I hope that makes sense.


Alice salt mine: new $6m drilling program
Thank you Duncan for your reply … I can inform the public that ALEC expressed the same sentiments and concerns about the exemption of the title in comments to the NT EPA EIS Guidelines for the Chandler project in July and also requested clarification from both Ministers Chandler and Westra Van Holthe and the NT EPA’s Dr. Bill Freeland.
We are yet to receive any correspondence related to these concerns. It is this lack of response that causes ALEC to have less than desired faith in the current approvals process and legislative framework.
Also, it needs to be said that the bulk of the salt to be produced is destined for Asian mining and gas markets where environmental protection is relatively low.
While we appreciate the proposed removal of wastes from the biosphere, please don’t play a righteous card and ignore that your proposed product – the salt will be causing greater environmental harm elsewhere. We only have to look next door in Indonesia to find drilling projects that have gone awry to say the least.
The Sidoarjo mud flow in east Java is a good demonstration of what can go wrong with drilling for oil and gas. Your product would enable more drilling across Asia and potentially contributing to gross environmental damage in the region.
I do get it Duncan, and it is not scaremongering – it is the truth.
I have had these concerns since you briefed me. I asked questions related to this and I appreciate your desire to want to be considered an environmentalist. Clean air, clean water and clean country.
A salt mine in Central Australia contributing to Asia becoming a drill rigs pin cushion? I am not comfortable with that.
I don’t know how you feel about it or have had the displeasure of seeing mining and gas operations in SE Asia but I can tell you – providing a product that facilitates that is not the action of an earth lover.
Jobs, investment etc – is all good and the size of the resource is huge – the questions remain – what is the NT government going to do regarding the exemption that is clearly stated on your Notice Of Intent and ensure that you comply with the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act within the confines of your title (which exempts it)? Still waiting for an answer.


Alice salt mine: new $6m drilling program
Important to remember that the business model for this project is based on the mine site also being a waste repository for longterm storage of potentially hazardous chemicals and waste by-products among other things.
Congratulations to all involved and those awarded contracts – concerns about how the NT Government plans on regulating the waste storage facility when the current legislation exempts Tellus from the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act and the Water Act.
It’s one thing to have a salt mine, it’s another to have a salt mine and toxic waste dump that isn’t currently regulated by any NT laws.


Alice salt mine: new $6m drilling program
Important to remember that the business model for this project is based on the mine site also being a waste repository for longterm storage of potentially hazardous chemicals and waste by-products among other things.
Congratulations to all involved and those awarded contracts – concerns about how the NT Government plans on regulating the waste storage facility when the current legislation exempts Tellus from the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act and the Water Act.
It’s one thing to have a salt mine, it’s another to have a salt mine and toxic waste dump that isn’t currently regulated by any NT laws.


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