@ Frank Baarda: Thank you for raising the issue of …

Comment on Gas, fracking: potential benefits to Aborigines enormous by Erwin Chlanda.

@ Frank Baarda: Thank you for raising the issue of a “statutory 10% mining royalty under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act” in our report above.
Royalty payments are enshrined in the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. This makes them a statutory requirement.
The Central Land Council (CLC) gives an explanation of this part of the Act under the headings “Mining” and “Royalty or Land Use Money”.
The oldest major oil and gas venture in this region to be affected by the Act is Mereenie, initially opened up by Magellan and Oilmin.
The field, 250 km west of Alice Springs, was discovered in 1963, has gone through several changes of control and ownership, and is still in operation.
All this makes Mereenie a precedent likely to be considered in current and future gas deals on Aboriginal land in theTerritory – the subject of this report.
The term “statutory royalties” was used frequently in local reporting, including some produced by me for newspapers and national television.
It has also been used in academic papers: An example is the discussion paper in 1984 (eight years after the passing of the Act) by J C Altman, of the Australian National University’s Department of Political and Social Research School of Pacific Studies, and N Peterson, entitled “The Case for Aboriginal Access to Mining Royalties under Land Rights Legislation”.
Table 1 on page 9, entitled “Mining agreements on Aboriginal land: Statutory and negotiated royalty rates (ad valorem)” for 1981 and 1982: Magellan, statutory royalty 10%, negotiated royalty 1.5%. It also quotes details for six other companies.
I understand that the royalty amount paid to traditional owners has remained the same as the field changed ownership several times although companies we asked said the amount is confidential.
Ahead of publishing the report we sent emails to major players, requesting information, including the CLC.
We suggested that the “likely situation” would be “a 10% statutory royalty plus a negotiated royalty” to be paid by gas producers.
But the CLC replied only to one question in our email, whether or not it had a policy on fracking, saying no, it didn’t.
Stand by for more in this compelling saga about gas, fracking and billions of dollars.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor.

Erwin Chlanda Also Commented

Gas, fracking: potential benefits to Aborigines enormous
@ Bruce Francais posted April 6, 2017 at 6:59am:
Hi Bruce,
Of course I am not going to tell you where the source came from, because protecting our sources is one of the obligations we have as journalists.
I reject your implied assertion that there are categories of people who should be denied the freedom of speech.
Meanwhile why don’t you specify which – if any – of the facts and statements in the report do not stack up, in your view, and provide proof for any assertions you may be making.
That would serve our readers much better than unsubstantiated generalisations.
I’m looking forward to considering for publication any coherent response you may be providing.
Kind regards, Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.


Gas, fracking: potential benefits to Aborigines enormous
@ Bruce Francais: Don’t worry, we pick our well informed sources very carefully.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.


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Hi Ian Sharp, “Surprised!” and the other correspondents: Thank you for your comments!
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Many tanks for your comment, Domenico.
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Erwin Chlanda, Editor