@ Steve – I have lived in Alice Springs for …

Comment on Alice water cap lifted ‘under pressure from political advisers’ by Jimmy Cocking.

@ Steve – I have lived in Alice Springs for more than five years and consider it my home. It is unfortunate that you will never accept my claims to call this town home. I have come to Alice Springs with an open mind and willingness to learn. I have represented environmental views as best as I can. Environmental views are not city-based but earth based, so it has as much relevance in Alice Springs and the arid lands as it does in the more urbanised areas of the world.
I am a tax paying Territorian. The Desert Park, the Museum, the tax office and the electoral commission considers me a Territorian, why can’t you Steve?
The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC)is a community based organisation with a stable membership of approximately 300 people and a larger number of supporters.
ALEC happily receives operational funding from the Federal and Territory Governments. This is because there is recognition of the importance of having organisations with expertise participating in government processes to improve their environmental performance and reduce the risk posed by wanton economic development.
ALEC is a non-political environmental organisation. ALEC is non-partisan and works towards its vision of “healthy futures for arid lands and people”. ALEC takes its direction from its membership and volunteer board and is implemented by its committed staff.
ALEC was born in Alice Springs and incorporated in 1980 in the NT. ALEC is a Central Australian organisation.
I was born in Victoria but now call Alice Springs home. How long does someone have to live in Alice Springs for someone to care about where our water comes from and how its used Steve?
ALEC has been here for life. I moved here and call this place home. You are an elected official and have to govern for all who live in this jurisdiction.
You have to work for all of us Steve, not just your family or the people who say they voted for you but everyone. That is the role of government … I am a taxpayer. I work for a Centralian-born NGO. I volunteer much of my time for the benefit of this community. I am concerned about the wanton allocation of water when we have a finite resource here.
You are a councillor and the council representative on the Alice Springs Water Advisory Committee. You have a responsibility to represent the views of council, not your views but those of council. The ASWAC and the Water Allocation Plan is not hindering growth in this town – divisive attitudes and small mindedness is.

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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