“Pathetic” is a good description for someone too gutless to …

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

“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.

Steve Brown Also Commented

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.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
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.


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

There’s more to renewables than sunshine
Until now every drop of water that was ever on the earth has remained on the earth.
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if quasi religious climate fanatics were eventually responsible for using up that water, turning it into hydrogen?
It would be even more ironical that we should consider that in one of the driest places on earth, where water is absolutely in its most valuable state as water.
We should all understand that there is no such thing as free energy. There is always a price and generally speaking it would be a pretty bloody smart idea to understand that price, monetary or otherwise, before we go racing off creating even more mammoth environmental issues for future generations.
For the present there are so many ifs around the Hydrogen idea that – dare I say it – it’s simply a pipe dream!
Also noted the quick duck for cover by Mr Duignan when the question about feed-in prices for home solar generators was raised.
Whose issue would that be then Mr Duignan? Wouldn’t that be the Territory Government and given that Territory Generation is in fact a quasi public service operation owned lock stock and barrel by Territory taxpayers, maybe a more responsible answer would be in keeping with that role.


Community solar: the devil is in the wires
Yes, and then there’s all the community facilities of which we are all joint owners! Places such schools, hospitals, police stations, street lighting, ecetera, the list is endless.
All of these facilities require power 24/7 as does welfare housing, hotels and motels, all connected to the rest of the grid.
Consumers on the remaining grid would, as they do now, have to pay their share of those costs, plus, the share of those in the community system.
This is already occurring of course, on a smaller scale, and the costs to the poor old hapless consumer who can’t afford to instal solar, are already escalating.
The only fair way to rectify this imbalance, which of course nobody wants to hear about, all studiously avoiding the subject, is for owners of solar systems to pay their share of those costs!
Another words, pay not only for their use of the grid, but for the existence of the grid.
Yes, even if they are operating a stand alone system.
This of course effects the whole viability of installing solar, dragging its payback time out by quite a bit.
However, if we are to honestly asses the true worth of solar to the community, then these costs really must be taken into account.
It’s time the rose coloured glasses came off, frank and honest assessments are made.
Governments parading solar as world changing advancement are often actually subsidising its installation while blithely ignoring the true and growing cost to community. Just face up to, and come up with, some fair and equable answers!
Now we seem to be adding lithium iron batteries to the mix, as if they are some kind of nice environmentally friendly answer to our storage problems, when to my eye, precisely the opposite is true.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of renewable power but it must be truly honestly viable, covering all the costs, and it absolutely must create less pollution than our present systems of generation or we are all fooling ourselves.


Ratepayer, do you want your money back?
Such an astoundingly naive proposal could only ever have originated with one Councillor Melky. As always grandstanding without the slightest thought given to the actual consequences of such a profoundly counter productive decision. Which if carried out to the letter would see a good deal of the windfall funds blown in the name of community consultation. Any attempt to refund it would incur even greater costs reducing any refund to a piddling amount producing no worthwhile outcome for the community, especially when you consider Council has on its books many unfunded, or even worse partially funded, or non completed projects that could have, and indeed should have, been funded partially or otherwise from these funds! Benefiting the Community and its economy as a whole.
More importantly, not wasting a huge amount of Council’s time and productivity messing about with a messy, unproductive, time wasting and resultantly expensive, refund. Further to that should Council do the sensible thing and allocate the funds to other projects, it will also provide Councillors with a very good argument against further rate rises next year.
Something I am quite certain, all Rate payers would be relieved to hear.
New councillors need to be across and take responsibility for their role as Body Corporate style managers of their Community’s assets and not to be so easily be duped into making what may seem on the face of it to be responsible decisions but which are in fact cheap political attention seeking ploys with no regard for what may well turn out to be far reaching consequence…
Take time to think it all the way through…
Before you act!


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
From the moment the POSIs were implemented they have proved themselves to be the single most effective crime prevention measure the Territory has ever seen.
Now I don’t know about you Paul McCue but I would much rather have my family home and business all kept in one piece as opposed to paying out my hard earned to employ a police person who gets greater job satisfaction from aftermath policing!
A person who apparently has so little empathy for the public’s plight that they would actually ask for our support in that role but not in the preventative role!
Call it self interest if you like Mr McCue, but I like many other Territorians, through the voices of our politicians, are going to keep on insisting on the POSIs wherever they are needed.
If we have a police staffing issue employ more police – just as we have been promised on many occasions over the past dozen years.
Fill all of the roles the community requires, not just the roles that suite you!


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal: My reference is to Russell’s dad escaping the Germans and arriving in Australia.
Given that he escaped Germany during WW2, if he then set out for Australia he would have arrived during Australia’s greatest hour of peril, facing an imminent Japanese invasion.
Out of the frying pan almost into the fire, bar for the intervention of the USA.


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