Quote SB: “Meanwhile Darwin has infrastructure under construction way in …

Comment on Council wants more time to respond to water plan by Jimmy Cocking.

Quote SB: “Meanwhile Darwin has infrastructure under construction way in advance of its ability to supply water. Not that I mind that, as long as Centralians are afforded the same opportunities” – What Steve? To dry out in the middle of the desert? To pollute the precious groundwater like what’s happening in America, Steve? Should we just use up all the natural resources now – including water, so that we can make now so much better? But only so much better.
The issues of alcoholism and welfare dependency go well beyond requiring jobs to “fix” the problem, and many of the horticulture jobs seem to be taken up with migrant or backpacker labour, so I don’t see how just “creating jobs” in horticulture is going to help out the poor and neglected Central Australians that you speak of.
The pioneering town needs to get into new ventures and horticulture is definitely part of that mix.The cap is not stopping that from happening. A water licence can be applied for, that is the point of an application process.
Rather than it not being monitored and then years later finding out that much more had been pumped out, returning only very slowly through many, many layers of rock, sand and sedimentation or worse, contaminated.
The Country Liberal Party may be good for business but the key challenge for them is to ensure that the business environment created fosters innovation and sustainable development.
Re-runs of the same failing model that continues to cheat taxpayers by propping up industries with fossil fuel subsidies may be good for the exploration and mining industry, but it creates dependencies of regions on unsustainable industries.
With only a couple of decades at best on the horizon for these companies and shareholders demanding profits – we see the destruction of water courses and land.
Best we start being more efficient with our water and generate more energy from the sun because it all could change very quickly as we have learned from the Great Recession.
With our decision-makers banking all our natural asset sales on China, which was reported today to be quite shaky. we need local solutions (of which I agree with you wholeheartedly Steve), but it means valuing the natural resources we need here and now. Water and energy.
We have abundant solar energy and should be aiming for 100% at certain times of the year with back-up gas generators on stand-by.
We can be world leaders in water efficient horticulture and drylands agriculture.
But we really have to want it Steve. We really have to want to change and be prepared to take on what that means.
I really value your desire for a transformation of the economy that respects regional and remote areas – but you really have to want it Steve.
You really have to want it and accept that the economic model you so faithfully and blindly believe in is not going to bring a rosy future.
Or even a cut flower industry to this town. Change is certain Steve. It is the only thing that is, and it’s about time that we give up the laissez-faire (look it up) approach to the management of our natural resources.
When the weather turns itself up and its more than just the farmers complaining about it, there will be fewer and fewer people wanting to live out here, so we’d better start doing our bit at keeping the temperature down and making sure we got plenty of water in the well for the hot times.

BTW: The Alice Springs Water Advisory Committee meeting minutes are available for all to see on the website.

PS. Please refrain from personal attacks and pigeon-holing Steve. I know that may make you feel strong and powerful, but we really need to work together if we are to have a sustainable future in this town. We’re all an important part of this community Steve, all of us.

[ED – The minutes of the Water Advisory Committee meeting in October last year “are available for all to see on the website” because the were posted this week, after the Alice Springs News Online drew attention to their absence.]

Recent Comments by Jimmy Cocking

Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist
Thanks Hal. We’re not saying no to all extraction but the government should be able to say “no” earlier to prevent the wasted expenditure on impact assessments on projects that shouldn’t be allowed to proceed.
This will increase certainty for industry and the environment to ensure that only projects that are shown to progress without compromising social, cultural, ecological or economic values may proceed rather than marginal projects that externalise the risk to the environment and the community.
Investors should welcome these changes.
The industry lobbyists are killing confidence in the NT.
They’re wanting to open us up to the investors who don’t care about what happens outside of their project.
We want to bring investors into the Territory who do care what happens outside the leasehold and commit to investing in Territorians and not just projects.
We really do need to re-think the way that resources are allocated to ensure the benefits are enjoyed by those who have had to endure the consequences.
We’re all having this conversation because the NT Government budget crisis. Some of us are trying to solve this long term problem, others are taking advantage.

Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist
Thanks for your comments, Ken.
The environment subsidises all of our human activities. We share this planet with an ever dwindling number of other species who have also called this planet home for millions of years.
We have companies that access cheap capital (at the moment) to dig up our natural resources, owned by the Australian people.
They pay a small amount of royalties.
Until recently they have been exempt from the Water Act and many avoid paying taxes as they run up expenses and can avoid corporate tax lawyers that are not available to the rest of us.
They get fuel subsidies, they get free access to our roads, they donate to both sides of politics and fuel think tanks to drive sympathetic policy agendas. They avoid as much long term responsibility and rehabilitation as they can.
The key point is that the NT Government is finally lifting the bar to protect the NT’s most important assets besides its people, which is nature – including groundwater, rivers, woodlands, wetlands and the animals and plants that inhabit them.
The mining lobby and other industrialists are now attacking these laws because it might cost them some money to ensure they do not leave a litany of ecological disasters as has been the case previously, in the NT especially.
All we want (like many Territorians) is for the laws to pass as they were proposed.
They are robust and if supported will create certainty for industry as they will know how high and wide the hoops are and environmentalists won’t have to keep on repeating the fact that we currently have the weakest environmental laws in the country.
It costs a lot to clean up pollution, especially as we enter a period of increased extremes of weather and the costs that will be born by society as infrastructure and insurance are affected.
We just want what is right.
And it is right for the NT Government not to weaken or change the laws at the behest of these industrial lobby groups.
Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) is a charity.
We are funded by donations and some grants to support our vision of “healthy futures for lands and people”.
The NTG has provided funding to support the employment of a policy officer to engage in these processes for the benefit of the Territory.
The Chief Minister said at the time that democracy requires a contest of ideas and although we may disagree at times, it’s important that the community has the debate.
The CLP and the Federal Coalition cut all of our funding in 2014.
They don’t seem to want to hear about the negative impacts of weak to non existent environmental protection.
They also dismantled and defunded a lot of research and other important areas.
Anyway, I think that covers it. I haven’t heard about diamonds but again, look across the border to see what happens when your economy is driven by a single sector.
When it tanks, it tanks.
Look at Inpex. NT has been a one trick horse since 2012.
We need to diversify and strengthen our economy in the face of a warming world. If you’d like to know more about the work at ALEC you can go to its website www.alec.org.au, or email me director@alec.org.au.
FYI, I don’t have a work vehicle, I use my own and I work more hours than I am paid.

@ Chris Slater: Please email me at jimmy@abetteralice.com.au with some photos and your concerns and I will raise at council next Tuesday. Thanks all for your interest.

30 scientists say no to fracking in the NT
@ Andrew: He is associated with the Norwood Resource, a pro-gas industry “education” charity. The people who oppose fracking have nothing to gain except clean air, water and a safe climate. Gas lobbyists have become the loudest voices in closing off coal as they hope to portray gas as a cleaner fuel.
It may be, if it didn’t leak and escape into the atmosphere. Reality is that we have to stop all fossil fuel pollution by mid century or we risk permanent damage to the climate system.
East coast supply issues are about gas companies selling our gas cheaper to Asia than they do to us.
The supply issue is the result of gas export contracts and the same people who manufactured that is also trying to make the solution from coal to gas in the Pedirka basin. Potentially killing national heritage listed Dalhousie hot springs
Fracking is dangerous and polluting. It has made many oil and gas barons rich in the states but risked water, communities and seismic safety.
Our farming and tourist industries are more important than the gas fracking industry. We have abundant sun and we should focus on solar.
It is well known that we can’t exploit our known reserves of fossil fuels without blowing the global carbon budget, let alone finding and developing new ones.
Let’s hope the NT Government makes a sensible decision to extend the moratorium indefinitely.

Let’s have an Australia Day when we are ready for it
@ Local1: Factually incorrect. The vitriol on Monday night was largely coming from supporters of Cr Price where a fellow Councillor was threatened with violence for reading a statement of unity and reconciliation from the Arrernte women.
Appalling behaviour considering these people attended in response to a Facebook callout for support by Cr Price herself.
In regards to your opinion, if you can’t speak out without a pseudonym, then your opinion has a lot less weight in my opinion, especially when peddling mistruths.

Flood report a trickle, not a banker
If elected either Mayor or as a Councillor, I will advocate for action on this report.

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