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Katherine Times Wed 25 Apr 2018



Katherine Times Wed 25 Apr 2018


Katherine Times; NewspaperNT




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Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers

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North Australian News for Katherine Times

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North Australian News for Katherine Times



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katherinetimes.com.au/opinion ]OPINION WednesdayApril 25, 2018 KATHERINETIMES 9katherinetimes.com.au PHONE Call us: (08) 8972 1111 EMAIL Send your letter to: editor.kathtimes@ fairfaxmedia.com.au SOCIAL facebook.com/ katherinetimes, twitter. com/katherinetimes CONNECT WITH US Preference is given to letters that are fewer than 350 words. Letters must include the authors first and last name (for publication), address and daytime contact number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity. Letters are placed at the editors discretion. POST PO Box 42 Katherine, NT 0851 ALARGE number of people arequickly turning their attentionaway from outright opposition tofracking, to how Katherinemight gain from it. There is no doubt Katherine, and the region, remains solidly against fracking, many will continue to do so even now the moratorium has been lifted. There is still a fair bit of water to pass under the bridge until all the safety measures are put in place. Chief Minister Michael Gunner himself estimates it wont be until dry season in 2019 before the pre-exploration tests will continue. He has welcomed the extra scrutiny of his Governments adoption of themany new safeguards to be adopted to allow shale gas extraction to begin. As we have said before, this community is the better for the efforts the anti-frackers havemade, and will continue tomake we hope Themood is different in Darwin and Palmerston than it is in Katherine. Katherine already has a poisoned aquifer under its feet, the thought of more chemicals being squirted about deep underground near us fills us all with dread. Further north, the governments coffers are bare, property prices are in free fall, people are leaving because the work has dried up. In a democracy like ours, our elected government is supposed to represent the will of the people. It did not do so in this case, economists and scientists heldmore sway than voters. People will make their own decisions at the ballot box on how to respond but that is still years away. For now, the gas companies want to check out the Beetaloo Basin, just south of us, and see if their early excitement is justified. Some people are looking ahead, now fracking is a reality, to see what Katherine can gain from this. A transport hub, more worker camps, perhaps even the headquarters for the gas companies. Theymade a lot of promises before the decision wasmade, now they have won, lets see if they were fair dinkum or not. We enjoyed the proactive position taken by Roper Gulf Regional Council last week where they still recognise their citizens are dead against fracking, but want a seat at the table to see how it rolls out. Smart thinking. EDITORIAL Fracking decision, the important next steps LETTER TO SANDRA NELSON Dear Sandra, You were elected to the NT Legislative Assembly on an anti-fracking platform, aided by a strong flow of preferences from another anti-fracking candidate. Your principal rival at the time strongly supported fracking. In the very conservative Katherine Electorate you were elected despite being a Labor candidate. Your election was an aberration that was influenced primarily by strong anti-fracking sentiment in Katherine. You are personally opposed to hydraulic fracturing and are aware that the vast majority of your constituents also oppose the process. You were elected to Parliament by the people of Katherine, not by the Labor Party. Your principal loyalty therefore should always be to your constituents. I realise that you are a loyal person and I commend you for that. Unfortunately a major flaw in our political system is that the loyalty of individual politicians is often compromised by party politics. The NTGovernment has nowmade a decision to lift themoratorium on fracking. This decision wasmade in an undemocratic manner, with yourself and sixteen other Parliamentarians being unable to vote on thematter in Parliament. With thematter having been discussed by Labor parliamentarians behind closed doors, openness and transparency of government have been sadly lacking. Constituents of your electorate were deprived of a vote on this most important issue. Considering the prevailing circumstances, and assuming of course that your primary allegiance is to your constituents, would you now be prepared to resign from the Labor Party and serve the remainder of this parliamentary term as the IndependentMember for Katherine? A failure to do this would be a betrayal of your constituents and your own conscience. This action wouldmake you a pariah for the Labor Party of course but it would certainly be your best option if you wish to seek a second term in Parliament. It would provide Katherine with an elected representative who is not beholding to either of our twomajor political parties. For many years now there have been calls for Katherine to have an IndependentMLA. The late LesMacFarlane is the closest we have had to having this in the past. An opportunity has now arisen for you to put the interests of Katherine and your constituents ahead of the Labor Party. Katherine needs anotherMac. I sincerely hope that you grasp this opportunity for both your own and Katherine's sake. Bruce Francais, Katherine. SANDRA MUST RESIGN With themoratorium on hydraulic fracturing now lifted, the 17th of April will forever remain an auspicious day for the NT, for Australia and especially for the NT Labor party. Michael Gunner has done the right thing for the economic future of all Territorians. He listened to the science andmade a decision that was not based on popular politics. However, what of LaborMLAs like Sandra Nelson who campaigned so actively against fracking during the 2016 election campaign. Sandra and her cohorts are now clearly at odds with their own government.They campaigned against fracking while their government has now endorsed the industry. There are only two choices for Sandra if she is tomaintain a shred of integrity with the Katherine voters. Shemust, at the very least, immediately resign from the Labor party or resign from Parliament. Kit Jolley, Katherine. DEPRESSION IS SERIOUS The Black Dog Institutes Exercise Your Mood campaign (April 30 May 6) encourages Australians to improve their mental fitness by taking on at least one hour of exercise each week. Professor Helen Christensen, director of the Black Dog Institute FRACKING PROTEST: Katherine has been almost unanimous in opposition to the introduction of fracking in the NT. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR THE NT Government last week approved the development of an onshore gas industry with a lot of opposition to fracking from Katherine residents. Shore term gain, long term disaster. Gunner has no vision. Norm Stanley. Our water aquifer is poisoned already by theTindal RAAF Base. So just let the frackers go for it, it cant get any worse than it is. Bill Donald. So the logic is don't protect what's left of that aquifer or any others in the NT, just go ahead and deplete and destroy the lot of them. It sure could get worse. Allison Davidson This is an election busting decision. Dianne Beverly Smith Did anyone honestly believe the govt wouldn't act in the short term interests of the state budget??!! Dan Robertson Another free-for- all,no probs if they ruin air,water and health...just declare bankruptcy ,or put monies in Caymans and claim poverty. I hope Gunner was 'well' paid. Inez Northover. Four crocodiles have been captured in the Katherine area in the past few weeks. Culling of crocs in the Katherine river is a must!!! Denis Coburn. This can only mean croc culling - no way it's their home. Dianne Beverly Smith. Annie Broadbent should go swimming when you come up. Tiffany Broadbent Awe I might have to pass on the swim thanks. Annie Broadbent And this is why I dont swim in those rivers anymore. CourtneyVanessa. Ava still wanna go swimming? Leonie Meech. None in hot springs yet, were all good Ava Meech. No swimming at low level. Tim Elvis Noack. Swimming pool only. Anthea Norsworthy. Time for a cull. Didnt make it to the top of the food chain to get eaten by a handbag Mikhail Boshev. WEB WORDS