Giles government buys advert dressed up as news

p2290-NTG-advertisementBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

A spread of two full pages of paid advertising in Tuesday’s Murdoch-owned Advocate newspaper is “a sure sign the Territory Government is desperate to make their point about the gas pipeline and fracking,” says Jimmy Cocking, CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.

 

He says instead of engaging in consultation with the community they are “buying newspaper space to out-compete the voices of concern”.

 

Mr Cocking, who has been vocal about risks to the drinking water supply in The Centre from fracking, says it’s significant that the government’s water allocation plan is still under review – two and a half years after it started.

 

He says there has not been an adequate assessment of the Rocky Hill borefield before the allocation of a water licence to the vineyards and other horticulture land leased by the Hayes family.

 

Rocky Hill will be the source of water for Alice Springs when the presently used Mereenie aquifer runs dry or pumping from it becomes too expensive.

 

IMAGE: The Giles government’s taxpayer-funded advertising splash in the Murdoch-owned Advocate is made up to look like news copy produced under the requirements of the Journalistic Code of Ethics: pseudo headlines over pseudo stories, one of them with a by-line, which makes the whole thing even more deceptive.

 

The ethically obligatory advice to readers “ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT” (or similar) is nowhere to be seen. What look like smaller adverts are similar in style and size to adverts elsewhere in the paper. The banner says “Business update”. Who is doing the updating? Mr Giles?

 

When offered the right of reply, Advocate Managing Editor Michael Gorey emailed: “The double-page spread was an advertising feature, clearly labelled as ‘Northern Territory Government Business Update’.”

 

 

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11 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Media Watching in the NT
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:15 am

    How much does the Advocate get paid to pump that type of government spin down our throat?
    @ Michael Gorey. Come clean and tell us why it is the Advocate has taken such a pro Giles and pro-fracking position. Is it really just for the cash?
    How about some balance and you run a front page list of all the states and countries that have said a big NO to fracking!
    This is a public dare to you. Show us you still have some capacity to report in a balanced way.
    Show us you have some editorial independence left.
    Don’t just quote the voices of the environmental movement or vox pop those who conveniently fit your stereotypes!
    Just run a simple factual article listing all the states and countries that have said NO to fracking or have a moratorium in place.
    It’s not just the Giles government and the fracking industry that spends money on your paper.

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  2. Phil Walcott
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I’m hearing that the Top End mob are rearranging the deckchairs. The new electorate of Spillett is up for grabs. If Dave Tollner (Fong Lim) or Lia Finocchiaro (Drysdale) jump ship and contest there, it leaves an opening for one current Central Australian Member to re-locate and run his campaign from Darwin. That would leave an incumbency vacuum in The Alice ready for someone else to embrace.
    Phil Walcott
    IndependeNT for Braitling

    View Comment
  3. Charlie W
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Hey readers, did you know that the Deloitte study on the fracking industry (i.e. IF the market actually become profitable again) estimates that the annual contribution it’ll make to the NT coffers is about $150 per Territorian?
    That’s a dismal amount when you think about it!

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  4. Sean
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 6:42 am

    The so called “Giles Government” (an oxymoron in itself) is finished anyway. We’ll be very lucky to ever get another Alice Springs CM after his disgraceful mess.
    If he had any decency, he’d come clean with Alice locals about trying to pre-select for a Darwin seat. Only problem has been, they don’t want him either – so we’re still stuck with him. For now anyway.

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  5. Jacob
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Another Observer: Jimmy Cocking is not a taxpayer funded “activist,” complaining that others are using taxpayer funds to get their message across.
    Giles defunded him and then he really started to attack the Government’s mining and energy plans.

    View Comment
  6. Charlie W
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Please, good readers of The Alice News, keep your focus on the issue at hand here and don’t be distracted by Another Observer’s boring and incorrect statements.
    This is a clear case of either YOUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS or MORE TIO CASH getting thrown about in an desperate effort to distract Territorians from the despicable truth that Giles wants to open up the Territory to fracking with NO SOCIAL LICENSE.
    If Giles and his cronies had some guts they’d let the voters decide because if it goes ahead there will be social division and disunity for years to come!
    How can anyone vote for this CLP government with such a disgraceful approach!
    Hey, did you hear they are going to release a whole bunch of $10,000 barra into the Wiggleys waterhole?

    View Comment
  7. Another Observer
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    @ Rodney Angelo: Please refer to ALEC annual reports available on their website.
    Commonwealth, NT – isn’t support given by the Alice Springs Town Council? Quite frankly, I’d like taxpayers to be funding my business for the amounts they are gifted.

    View Comment
  8. Rodney Angelo
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    A correction for “another observer” comment: Jimmy Cocking and the Arid Lands Environment Centre do not receive funding from the Northern Territory or Federal governments. The money for his position comes from supporters in the community.

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  9. Paul Armstrong
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I Loved a Sun Burnt Country
    I loved a sunburnt country, a land of gas fields, and acid rains.
    Of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and rivers of methane veins.
    I loved her far horizons, I loath the oil slicks on her sea.
    Her beauty, there is nothing left to see,
    With terror on her wild life. And toxins in the sea.
    The wide brown land Australia, has nothing left to see.
    For Australians have just fracked their land and killed their sea.
    To the core, of her heart, we are injecting meth, helping our premature death.
    We’ve handed the Devil her soul. Opened her up take her coal.
    Opened her up to frack the gas. And handed, just a little cash.
    So much for the rich life we once lived, we paid her back, by having her fracked.
    Now the clouds gather all filled with toxic gas.
    And with plumes of dust that will leave you with a nasty rash.
    We Dream of the fresh water. And the catching the of fresh rain,
    But drumming of an army keeping us in pain, as fresh water for the poor, no more.
    Only piss water to buy at the store.
    I loved a sunburnt country, a land of gas fields and sweeping dusty plains.
    Of toxic mountain ranges, drilling rigs and toxic acid rains.
    I loathe the drilling rigs on horizons, dumping toxins into our inland sea.
    Her Beauty now just a distant memory, with no fresh water for the trees, you or Me.
    And now the coal seam companies want to give her back to me.
    An opal – hearted country, and greedy man that is white, putting the end of dreaming in sight.
    With gas companies raping the lavish land, leaving the framer with just dust in his hands.
    All of you that say you love her. You need to understand?
    That it was the meth and coal seam gas that caused the death, of this once great land.
    The earth holds many splendours, we once had the Great reef, but she died from methane and heat.
    As we allowed the rulers to lie, as we watched and let our environment die.
    It’s to farewell our brown country, all so damaged and dry we say goodbye, with a tear in our eye.
    I loved a sun burnt country, but we allowed the Dreaming to die, we raped mountain ranges and let the rivers run dry.
    I loved her far horizons, I loved her for her magnificent jewelled seas.
    I loved her because she was all I wanted my home to be.
    Grandchildren I can’t lie, we adults allowed your country to be poisoned, and we let the animals die.

    I loved a sunburnt country.

    This is a adaptation of I Love a Sunburnt Country By Dorothea Mackellar. Adaptation by No Fracking the NT.

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  10. Another Observer
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    How hilarious – Jimmy Cocking, the taxpayer funded “activist,” is complaining that others are using taxpayer funds to get their message across.

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  11. Roger W Miller – Darwin.
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Not just gas pipeline and fracking, Jimmy. The Darwin newspapers are receiving government ads that are blatantly political, specifically the full page adverts advising that “Labor” blocked this important bill on ice, which was aired the day after the last sittings – estimated total cost $100,000 before the CM cancelled them.
    As an observer in Parliament on that day I can attest the advert is a Lie as the business at hand was an attempt to fast track the bill and suspend standing orders.
    Sittings again soon and the bill will receive 100% support after due process with joint consultation.

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