The inquiry’s reference to Silent Spring is an abhorrent and …

Comment on Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light? by Defiant.

The inquiry’s reference to Silent Spring is an abhorrent and perverted tactic to legitimise an industry that offers nothing but greed, contamination and conflict.
Carson would be turning in her grave if she knew her ideas were being used in this way.
Fracking of shale gas in the US has lead to a contamination legacy comparably only to the days of DDT and other pesticides. It is an environmental catastrophe and we know this.
That fundamental flaw in this inquiry is the consistent use of subjective terms in an objective way. What is meant when they conclude risk can be mitigated to an acceptable level?
Is that one contaminated aquifer? Is that a 1% increase in premature births? Is it .1% increase in warming? Is it a 2% increase in road fatalities?
They don’t decide what risk is acceptable, that is not a question for science or law.
That is one for the people of the NT to decide and they have decided. No risk is worth the financial gain that is made by a few select corporate individuals.

Recent Comments by Defiant

New energy for anti fracking campaign
It may just be time to start considering a genuine green voice in Parliament for the NT.

Gas lobby silent on some fracking recommendations
The report has in no way debunked public concerns or “myths” as the industry would have us believe. On the contrary, it has comprehensively outlined a huge range of risks of significant consequence and probability.
This includes climate change risks, groundwater contamination and ecosystems.
The fact that the industry is already pushing back confirms again what the report acknowledged, which is that there is no confidence in the current regulatory system.
If there is money to be made, shortcuts will be sought, at the expense of the environment and people.

New abattoir for Alice? Some cattle men pushing for it.
The pastoral estate will need to prove it can become truly sustainable or it will not transition into an industry that caters to the modern demands of the consumer.
There is growing awareness of the ecological impact of beef production that is already influencing consumer choices.
Obviously it would be best for all involved if the industry committed to reducing its significant carbon emissions and ecological footprint.
Meat and Livestock Australia is aspiring to move to carbon neutrality by 2030. So it is possible to aim higher.
The land clearing application mentioned above on the Maryfield station has hardly moved through a rigorous assessment process.
It is the largest land clearing application in the history of the NT but it was not actually formally assessed through an environmental impact statement and the Pastoral Land board ignored the recommendations of the EPA.
The Pastoral Land Board should diversify their representation so that they can make decisions that maintain the ecological integrity of pastoral lands rather than striving to push productivity that degrades country.

Mining in the NT has turned the corner
Fracking was not the only elephant in the room at AGES. There was complete silence on the issue of climate change and environmental responsibilities. Any mineral or petroleum operator in the 21st century is required to undertake their operations that are environmentally and socially responsible. This is often however not the case in the NT.
Mining in the NT has a fraught history of boom and serious bust. The country is littered with legacy projects that continue to pose a financial burden on the taxpayer for ongoing rehabilitation efforts. The environmental catastrophe that is the McArthur River Mine (no royalties paid in 2016) and toxic legacy of Redbank Mine were not mentioned. There are still significant flaws in the regulation of mining in the NT which pose significant risk to human and environmental health.
An obvious absurdity with petroleum exploration is the need to keep the vast majority of our known fossil fuel reserves in the ground to keep warming below two degrees. Why are companies and the Government working together to discover more resources when it is highly likely they will become a stranded asset?
Petroleum exploration is financially and environmentally irresponsible.
Company directors have a duty of care to foresee financial risk; climate change has now been legally acknowledged to be a foreseeable risk that must be taken into account or directors may be personally liable.
Mineral development should only occur if there are robust rehabilitation plans in place and a company demonstrates they can operate responsibly while equally distributing the economic benefits of their projects.

Miners seek certainty under native title
Native Title law exists for the benefit of Native Title claimants, not for the expeditious treatment of industry interests.
The certainty that the MCA is seeking here is to know that they can obtain Indigenous Land Use Agreements from a claim group before the entire group can be said to have been authorised to make such an agreement.
There is a very real risk that mineral companies will use divide and conquer tactics to coerce consent from claimant groups. This has occurred and seriously calls into question the validity of a consent for an exploration project.
Native Title is already a weak form of title, which does not provide a right of veto merely a right to negotiate, but ultimately a mining company does not even have to acquire a land use agreement.
This creates an obvious imbalance in bargaining power which means strong protection should be afforded to Native Title groups. The decision from McGlade provides a reading of Native Title law that is in line with the original policy intention of that Act.
Any amendments should be well considered and informed by the need to strengthen and protect Native Title claimants.

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