Fracking enquiry to be guided by union membership?

p2239-Gary-HigginsLETTER TO THE EDITOR


Sir – I hope the interim report into hydraulic fracturing due this week will actually indicate the inquiry’s views of the issues, rather than just being a rehash of the evidence.


After more than six months, and more than $3m of taxpayer dollars already, Territorians deserve an actual report which deals with and makes recommendations on the terms of reference.


I hope the interim report is not just a glorified progress report or update, but provides a clear indication of the inquiry’s thinking.


Even after all the taxpayer funds, public servants’ time and the time of members of the community, an NT News report indicates that the final decision will depend on CFMEU union membership levels, and their success in internal Labor party processes.


The Labor Government has consistently refused to streamline the lengthy timeframes for this inquiry. Before the election, no one was told that the inquiry would be so lengthy, cumbersome nor expensive. Every day the government delay is a wasted opportunity.


Territorians need jobs now, the Territory needs investment now, but instead Labor is merely going through the motions to actually avoid tough decisions.


Territorians have been blessed with abundant supplies of natural gas which can form an important part of Australia’s energy supply and security into the future.


Despite inquiry after inquiry showing this technique can be done safely with appropriate regulation, all we get are more inquiries. The Territory’s abundant onshore gas supplies should be playing an important part in a diversified Territory economy post-Inpex.


Instead of trying to plan for post-Inpex, the Labor Party is focussed on union memberships and internal processes of who will make the final decision. The government is focussed on blaming everyone but itself for our current economic woes, while standing in the way of solutions.


Gary Higgins (pictured)

Leader of the Opposition




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