@ Bob Durnan Fair enough, and I’m hardly speaking against all …

Comment on Sensible infrastructure for the NT? by Hal Duell.

@ Bob Durnan
Fair enough, and I’m hardly speaking against all you mention as necessary infrastructure.
But would a gas pipeline be uneconomical? I don’t know, and I also don’t know about an irrigated food bowl. I do know that Asia to our north holds many, many people, and they all want to eat.
High tech hospitals might well catch cashed-up visitors, but they might also catch some Aussies. And entrepreneurial education facilities are seen by a growing number as the way of future education.
One reason I’m favourably inclined to the proposals now coming out of Darwin is not in the hope that they will all pan out, but in the hope that some of them might.
As for the direction which you seem to be proposing – that expenditure be directed to and around remote communities – I’m just not at all sure that there is where our governments of today are focused. Perhaps it would be more in our interest to observe where they are focused and try to obtain some benefit from that.
For instance, a new road to the Chandler Salt Mine Project would firstly service the proposed mine with secondary benefits to the existing community of Titjikala. But without the mine, any claims from Titjikala for a new road quickly diminish.
It’s a corporate world out there, and it’s all about return on investment.
Of course, if the economy tanks, none of this will come about. Neither the pipelines nor the community upgrades. This was pointed out to me last night with the 1980s used as an example of optimism gone cold. Hopefully that won’t happen this time, and hopefully the fear that it might will not stop us from having a go.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Sensible infrastructure for the NT?
@Bob Durnan
Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm
All good, Bob, and I’m glad you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
I’ll leave it now, and shift my focus to a separate piece I’ll be submitting to Erwin soon.
The only point I will go on a bit about is camels.
If there really is money for sustainable development projects, I would like to suggest a camel dairy for long term income and a product of proven worth, and a mobile abattoir to produce camel jerky.
The latter could relieve the pressure of camels on remote communities and the jerky produced could join dried camel milk to help feed the many, many displaced people in the world desperately needing help.

Sensible infrastructure for the NT?
@Bob Durnan
Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm
No argument from here that corporate greed is fuelling the use of hydrocarbons to produce the energy we all use and demand.
But no one wants to turn their lights out, including us here in Alice, and since gas is a better hydrocarbon than coal as far as the environment is concerned, or so it is as far as I understand it, than why not send our recoverable deposits to the east coast via a pipeline? This is assuming that any fracking will not impact our aquifers – jury’s still out on that one.
Another possible argument in favour of sending our gas east might include Steve Brown’s assertion that any fracking here is deep gas fracking rather than coal seam gas fracking. If that is the case, would using our gas help reduce the call for coal seam gas currently a point of controversy across Queensland and NSW?
For what it’s worth I would prefer to see an increase in the use of renewable energy, but just how realistic is that? And how immediate?
Gina’s hospital? Will that be needing NT money or just NT approval to build on a particular piece of land?
And of course it’s corporations again. Witness the sale of TIO to an international giant in the insurance game, a sale which started this whole thread. Our Federal Trades Minister is currently in South America trying to secure an even greater participation of multi-national corporations in our national life. That tide has yet to turn.
I’m still not buying into the irrigated food bowl argument, but I do question your assertion that harvesting camels has been tried and shown to be uneconomic. I question if those wanting to try have been given full and helpful access to the wild product.
The labour pool in Alice, and across much of Australia, has changed permanently, and for the better.
Our new residents, many of the now Australian citizens, have hit the ground running. Their children will continue as their parents have started. These families have taken what they have found and made the best of it. Often their best has shamed the rest.
Can the same be said for those on communities?

Sensible infrastructure for the NT?
Not trying to disagree here, but just asking is there an energy pipeline anywhere in the world not subsidised by government? Probably, but the big ones hitting the news, whether in Russia, China, the US, Canada or across the failed states in the Middle East, all sound like they are government backed, and often multi-government backed.
As I said earlier, I don’t know about any food bowl, but I do know there are people wanting food and more food just to our north. Perhaps it would help if CLC got its act together to harvest camels instead of wasting a national resource? And just on the off chance they did decide to do that, would they be asking for a subsidy to harvest them as I assume they are to waste them?
And hospitals? Who just put how many millions into our Alice Springs hospital? Not completely sure here, but I doubt if it was private money.
As for “crackpot schemes … importing overseas or interstate labour to carry out the work, from sweeping floors to lecturing students and operating the robotic scalpels” who do you think works today in the Alice Springs Hospital?
Who do you think runs the check-outs in our supermarkets and comes in after midnight to clean the floors. Who handles almost all the private security in town?
Maybe, and just maybe, some of those jobs currently employing overseas and interstate labour would be filled at some point in the future by locals if the residents on our remote communities could be persuaded into school. However, right now it’s not that they are not working those jobs, but more that they are not even applying for them.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
I appeal to the NT government, especially to Ministers Gunner and Wakefield, to reconsider their approach to building the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
I doubt if many residents, and certainly not a majority, would be opposed to the gallery being built here. But why do you need to destroy what we have (an old high school, a central oval and a debt-free and functioning civic centre) to do that?
It’s not like we’re short of space down here.
It’s a bit unfair to ask council to solve your location problem when to date both of your proposals have presented it with a solution impossible to sell to the residents. And remember, councillors also face the coming elections.
Indigenous suggestions range from the Desert Park to the Desert Knowledge precinct.
It’s not negotiating if you reject in advance any suggestions other than your own.
And a note to council: The NT Government has clearly stated through Minister Wakefield that these discussions can be held in open. Time for you to stop hiding from us. Let’s hear what you have to say.

Locally produced hemp could replace plastic
This is a very good initiative. Congratulations to the Gunner government.
Hemp is a not only a better fibre than cotton, but growing it uses less water and fewer chemicals. What not to like?
Again, congratulations to the Gunner government.

Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
Perhaps one of the more astonishing features of this continuing saga is the overweening arrogance of Alice’s current group of councillors.
They somehow think they have the right to dispose of our civic centre.
They forget they were elected to look after our assets, not use them as bargaining chips in some shady back-room deal.
Commercial-in-confidence is such a scam. Come on councillors – I challenge any of you to grow a pair.

Despite clear leads, no-one was punished for making this mess
It can be done. Read this.

US military base in Darwin: what risk to NT?
The Opium Wars are over. China won. And all this “containment” and forward posturing is more like dogs barking in the night while the caravan moves on.
Poor Oz! Hanging like a pendulum between London and Washington with (just) the Kiwis for company. That means Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. What can go wrong?

Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor