Is there nothing sacred in the NT nowadays? The whole …

Comment on Call to block oil and gas exploration at King’s Canyon by Neil Rilatt.

Is there nothing sacred in the NT nowadays? The whole point of national parks is to recognise and protect areas of natural beauty from development of this kind. Even entertaining the idea of mining exploration in Watarrka is a testament to the short-sightedness of the economic worldview of the current government. Mining one of the most astounding areas of natural beauty this whole country has to offer in order to gain short term economic profits from a non-sustainable industry is completely backwards. Our region has so much potential in its lands and people, but the only value this governing philosophy appears to recognise is that of the rocks under the ground. How sad.

Recent Comments by Neil Rilatt

Climate: bicycles, umbrellas, stirring placards, fuzzy feeling
It may be news to Erwin, but being part of what feels like a very small, fairly powerless minority who are concerned with the very real prospect of global climate change but face opposition in political obstinance and complacency at every turn, despite the overwhelming mountain of evidence suggesting that we have a very small window in which to act to avert the worst case scenarios, does not give me a particularly warm or fuzzy feeling. Nor does seeing a local news organisation more attentive to deriding and pigeon-holing those concerned about climate change rather than taking to task those in power who are currently burying their heads in the sand and abrogating their governing responsibilities. I’ll get all warm and fuzzy when the spineless excuses we have for political ‘leaders’ wake up and start doing something about it. Right now I feel pretty despondent.

On the subject of flooding, from reading some of the past literature it seems there was broad agreement a couple of decades ago, including that of the AAPA, that a flood mitigation dam north of the Telegraph Station would be acceptable with regards to the level of impact on sacred sites. But to have this double as a recreational dam would mean that certain sites would be permanently inundated – a scenario vehemently opposed by traditional owners. If we are talking climate change and flood mitigation, then perhaps a dam is a potential solution if managed correctly – but why anyone is pushing the entirely unrelated agenda of a recreational lake in connection to this, knowing full well the only way to do this is to destroy sacred sites, is beyond me. Add to that the proposed location being outside ASTC municipal boundaries, how would it be managed and at what cost, to who?

Alice salt mine: new $6m drilling program
Contrary to Steve Brown’s assertion, ALEC does indeed represent the views of SOME of our community; those concerned that Central Australia is being unsustainably exploited for short term profits at the expense of the natural environment.
Of course, others in town do not see this as a concern and are free to argue accordingly.
In such a diverse community as ours there is no such thing as a community-wide consensus on anything. To say that Jimmy’s comments “in no way reflect the attitudes held by Alicespringites” is to plead ignorance to the diversity of thought in this town.
Attempting to delegitimise the purveyors of an argument instead of engaging in the substance of it is setting the bar for debate pretty low.
ALEC has asked some important questions out of concern for the long term environmental and social repercussions of the proposed mining activity – questions few others seem to be asking.
These concerns are legitimate and I’m glad someone is raising them, and not just bending over to the blow-in, out-of-state mining companies (with their big city agenda!) with abject complacency. All of a sudden, bureaucracy works perfectly?

Council by-election: common sense candidate
Edan is a great candidate for council. Thoughtful and independent minded, he’d make a great representative for the people of Alice Springs.

Turning garbage into electricity – option for Alice?
Energy from waste can indeed have enormous benefits in terms of emissions reductions from landfill and the option should be explored for Alice Springs. But I am still a little bemused as to why the conversation isn’t more about recycling and reuse – more waste reclamation and options for industrial processing of recycled materials into new resources – rather than internalising the assumption that we will always, and absolutely need to, keep producing such volumes of refuse. Surely this should be higher on the agenda?
Also, until there are plans for another 8000 houses and an industrial and commercial centre to be built south of the gap, can we drop the exaggerated notion that the tip is somehow going to be “smack-bang in the middle of Alice Springs” any time in the next hundred years?

Green future for Alice: how much wishful thinking?
Steve, your implication that I am a fool for not convincing you of my local knowledge is quite something. Character attacks are clearly easier for you than arguing substance. I am well aware of the regional context of this document – having actually read it – and my mining comments were in reference to the fact that, excepting a few small pockets, pretty much the whole of the NT is open for mining exploration and this appears to be the pinnacle of the vision for our region’s future coming out of state government right now.
This is shortsighted and ignores a whole raft of issues that are festering unaddressed in the background, which are only likely to get worse if we keep ignoring them.
Why you take such umbrage at other people taking the initiative to propose an alternative way forward and identifying a heap of positive opportunities for our town is beyond me.
Nobody is proposing anything with the aim of damaging our town or economy, and if you would get over your misconception that anyone expressing environmental concern is some raging, listless feral who wants to destroy things for everyone else, you may actually be able to contribute positively to the debate instead of battling your imaginary green boogeymen.

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