It’s only reasonable our politicians will have to decide whether fracking should go ahead in the NT or not.
After all we elected them to make these kind of decisions for us, the voters.
The issue swung more than a few votes Labor’s way at the last election.
Calls for a referendum on the issue are surely an act of desperation, this whole issue has been delayed enough already.
Katherine people may have contracted PFAS fatigue but they surely are equally well across the issues on the proposed exploitation of our natural gas, hidden deep beneath our feet.
The long-running and expensive inquiry chaired by Justice Rachel Pepper comes to its conclusion this month.
Justice Pepper has been at pains to say her panel is not making the decision on whether to proceed or not, that is up to government.
So we spent some time this week trying to discover how the government will arrive at its decision.
The Chief Minister’s office has told us the party’s Caucus will thrash it out firstly.
The Caucus is made up of elected members from the government’s ruling party, in this case the ALP.
This will be done in private.
In fact the whole thing will be done in private.
From caucus, when members are able to air their own views on Justice Pepper’s report, if it is not already lying on a table somewhere growing wet season mould, it will go to Cabinet.
Again in secret, senior Government Ministers will do what they consider is best for the NT.
Mr Gunner’s office said it would not debated on the floor of Parliament.
We asked local MPs Sandra Nelson what she planned to do once the issue reached the Government.
“My focus and commitment is to represent the constituents of my Electorate,” she told us, through a media staffer.
Similarly we put it to Selena Uibo who responded: “The Arnhem electorate is large and diverse and I have been canvassing many consituents on the issue and how they feel about fracking”.
Effectively Darwin will decide for the rest of us, even if the actual impact of that decision is at the Beetaloo Basin, south of Katherine.
Territory Labor has a mandate, boy what a mandate, to make these sorts of calls, it’s just a pity it has to be done in secret.
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