Sigh. It’s no bloody wonder our town struggles to lift …

Comment on Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity by Steve Brown.

Sigh. It’s no bloody wonder our town struggles to lift itself off the deck when you read comments like some of these. I guess that’s why you won’t put your names on your posts. A tiny little bit embarrassed? Completely understand why you would be.
The salt mine doesn’t need the road. They are quite happy to run a fly in fly out operation and in fact would like an excuse to do so. They are sealing the necessary operational transport route to the rail head, some 10 km.
Alice Springs needs the road sealed if we want to attract the workforce to be permanently based in our town, growing our economy!
Along with that workforce we also get the local business boosting ability to provide services. And we get to be involved in the tourism and ornamental side of the salt mine.
The road will not only serve the mine. It will serve the pastoral industry, the tourist industry, it will also provide all weather access to the community of Titijkala.
It will provide all weather access to the off-road facility facilitating the establishment of a vehicle testing industry, already in the wind.
It will provide access to the proposed blocks and tourist facilities at Ooraminna. It will provide all weather dust and rut free access to the Finke track or at least the first 100 km of it, to the date farm, to future business.
Yes! This is a service road that we must eventually seal anyway.
In fact, the NT Government has just very short sightedly clawed back the funding for the first 20 km of it, otherwise work would be already underway!
Why wouldn’t we want the jobs for our kids? Try and understand the earnings from this project into our town over a 25 year period, extrapolate that out to a couple of hundred years of rates on two hundred houses. 200 high income wage packets into our economy every week!
The extra jobs over and above the mining jobs in service industries the extra bods in our community organisations!
The facts are that if we a clever enough if we move fast enough the Alice stands to gain mightily from this project.
The alternative, if we think it’s all OK to sit around on our non-contributing proverbials worrying that someone might get something for nothing, while contributing somewhere around nothing ourselves, I guess we’ll get what we deserve as well.
A big fat nothing.

Steve Brown Also Commented

Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
“Pathetic” is a good description for someone too gutless to put their name to a comment.
Legitimate questions come with a legitimate verifiable names – happy to answer any of those that I can.
I won’t however answer tawdry obvious push propaganda, questions that treat Alice Springs News readers like a bunch of fools!
You should direct questions about the mining process to Tellus Salt, they have been very open throughout the process to date, regularly and openly consulting the public through a series of public presentations.
The last of these were in open council and before media just a couple of weeks ago … hence my letter asking the question that should be on everyone’s lips if this project goes ahead and it appears to be very much on track to do so.
What does our community gain from it? Is there opportunity for us? What do we as a community do take advantage of the available opportunity?
Or are we simply going to be bystanders watching a wonderful natural resource disappear much like Northern Gas.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
@ Jimmy: As always he is pushing propaganda and half truths.
The salt mine business case is based on the mining and sale of salt the space created by that activity is available for storage and as such makes up “part” of the business plan.
Storage in a salt mine is a logical natural fit as salt deposits are considered to be the world’s most stable geological formations which have zero connection to water bearing aquifers.
We know that because salt can’t exist in the rock form where there is water.
This salt is five hundred million years old. That’s twice the age of other well know salt deposits, making this mine arguabley the world’s safest storage location and certainly much safer than an wherever waste products are presently stored.
The mine will have space available for storage for all kinds of products, clearly we will be relying on our Government to regulate what the stored waste can consist of.
That regulation can occur under the Mining Act or whatever Act Government chooses, governments write acts, Jimmy.
It could even occur under a specifically written Act called “The Chandler Salt Mine Act of 2017”.
However, in all the discussion we should not lose sight of the existence of waste products of almost infinite variety that require safe storage until the world finds another way to deal with them.
Nor should we ever lose site of our combined responsibility for those products! All in all just another very urgent reason for Government to get publicly involved in this project.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
@ Alex: Just because we made a stupid short sighted mistake once before doesn’t mean we a destined to repeat that same mistake over and over.
We are humans we are supposedly in possession of a level of intelligence that allows us to view our mistakes and learn from them.
There is no comparison however between Tanami, some 600 km, away and a mine project that could drive its staff to work from town if there was good all weather access.
The salt mine is quite prepared to go ahead without that access in fact I think they prefer the FIFO option.
I’m suggesting that we negotiate an outcome that is more beneficial to the region so that we aren’t eventually left with no gain and a big hole! I’m suggesting we legislate FIFO, making it much more difficult to base projects on its use.
At the same time we negotiate the funding for the road, a road that we need anyway, regardless of the mine.
I’m suggesting we leverage the absolute maximum outcome for our community from this project. If we can’t achieve that in the final analysis we certainly should be questioning whether or not we want this project.
Further to all of that, the salt mine is not the only project close to town currently considering its options for staffing.
So right now is a very good moment for a new government to set some direction and to show some willingness to make deals that maximise outcomes for all parties.


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Scott McConnell now to vote as an Independent
I very much share Scott’s concerns re the Fifth Floor erosion of basic democracy!
Oversight and control of the bureaucratic machines of government is the sole responsibility of elected community representatives.
Department heads and political advisers roles are just that, to advise and to say “yes, Sir” upon a decision of the elected body.
Unfortunately the lines have become blurred.
Many who have no place actively involve themselves in the political foray, crossing the supposed divide between elected government and administration.
I believe this has come about because the government has become so incestuous, we are electing public servants and political advisers far to often!
Pre-selection committees should keep in mind that the whole concept of democracy and elected government is that the community has control over the government it is subjected to!
I agree totally with Scott on this issue: Time to reinstate democracy!


House break-ins more than double
Labor Government withdrew the police from the bottle shops presentations at the hospital blew out! Crimes against the person blew out! Domestic violence blew out!
Police were reinstated to bottle shops and these things returned to their previous levels.
Now we are expected to give some credit for the subsequent reduction in the associated crime figures!
Meanwhile break-ins are up because the numbers of kids on the streets are up and nothing’s been done!
A little birdie indicated just prior to Christmas that the Alice would be getting a 24/7 Youth Centre by boosting Tangentyere Councils Drop in Centre, however since that time … silence!
Apparently the idea has succumbed to budgetary restraint since the announcement that we are broke.
I bet the $200m for the Children and Families Computer system is still going ahead though!
While considering budgetary constraints it would create a better all round result if the Minister was cutting that item rather than the actual on-ground services that have a real chance of making a huge difference to our costs for policing, courts and corrections, while building community confidence and harmony.
Budget constraints, sure, we’ve got to have them, but let’s just think through our priorities before acting: Less bureaucracy, more coal face service!


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
@ Alex Hope: So Alex do you think Parks is achieving its purpose now! Is the buffel eradicated? Is the flora and fauna in a better state than when it was a pastoral lease?
Is the park in a condition that we can show it to the world in order to attract the tourists who fund our economy? Have we protected near extinct species?
To just what level of destruction to you propose we go in chasing what some see as a weed and what others know is actually a highly beneficial grass?
At what stage do you stop this battle against grass and look behind you to see the horrific damage that has been done?
By the time the mentality which you espouse is through, if left to run unchecked, there will only be vast fields of buffel grass left all our native animals, trees, shrubs and grasses will be gone, driven into the ground through the actions of irresponsible idiots.
Sensible licensed grazing by shepherded animals is a practical tool that will not only protect the park to a much greater degree from fire but can also add to the park’s attractiveness for visitors, locals running mobile Dude ranch activities and the like.
Parks are for people Alex, not for the sole use of left wing ideologues hell bent on proving some political point at any expense!
As for Illparpa Rd … you are kidding aren’t you? To keep buffel out of that tiny area quite literally thousands of litres of highly toxic now thought to be carcinogenic sprays has and is being used on a continual basis!
So just how much chemical and how much man power would we need for the park, do you think?


Park fire protection: new management plan doesn’t spell it out
The worst thing about these kinds of documents and plans is that in a world of cut and paste they go on and on often returning to the original. No learning. No advancement.
At least one and probably both of the major fire instances to which the document refers were started by prescribed burning!.
I suspect this latest fire or at least its continuation is also very much down to prescribed burning practices! The Lesson: Prescribed burning puts our parks at much greater risk of wildfire”! And if those traditional owners could only see what their words have led to in practice, they would be utterly horrified!
Time for an inquiry and a whole new plan, along with an extinction event for the original.


West MacDonnells blaze: sorrow and questions
Yes, well its clearly evident the fire management strategies as set out have been thrown all to hell and completely ignored for a considerable period of time.
As a result the damage done to the Western Macs, particularly the eastern end, is immeasurable, horrific, particularly when you take into account present weather outlook.
Whatever wildlife is left will probably starve. This may well be an extinction event for some species, as the ranges are very much the last refuge for some.
Just a few short years of park mismanagement have done more damage than 200 years of heavy stocking even overstocking could.
It’s time for an open public inquiry into the land use and management of this area, which is of strategic importance to the future of our environment, our tourism sector and our pastoralists on the extremities.
Tourism in the Centralian region was founded not on Ayers Rock as many might imagine, but on the Western Macs! They are of the utmost importance to our future!
We cannot let this moment pass without questioning all that has taken place.
I like others share a deep sense of sadness and loss at this devastation, trees and habitat that were literally hundreds of years old in the most precious of places have gone!
It will take centuries without devastating fire in these places to replace them! That is how immense the loss is!
So let’s not waste our time on apologies and excuses, let’s get to the bottom of this thing, let’s have a long hard look at the value of advice and management practices that led us to this place, then figure out a better way of doing things from this time on.


Be Sociable, Share!