Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010

Other title

Parliamentary Record 15


Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 We now have a Chief Minister prepared to roll over and leave that FLNG plant. Meanwhile, we have the Prime Minister of East Timor, Mr Ramos-Horta, saying: No, we do not want Australians working on this FLNG plant; we want them to be Timorese. What will Darwin get from this FLNG plant at the end of the day - very little indeed. There will not be any great gas developments in the Top End from Greater Sunrise. We will not see huge construction jobs going to Territorians, or a range of operational jobs going to Territorians they will all go to East Timor. Our Chief Minister hides, does not talk about it, and comes into this House with stupid puff pieces saying how well he is doing; we know that is nonsense. On the subject of Greater Sunrise, I am disappointed the Chief Minister could not recruit people like Steve Margetic, Bruce Fadelli and Dave Malone. They did a fantastic job trying to convince companies, and the federal government, of the merits of bringing gas onshore. They have much knowledge in this area and should be used to convince Woodside, Shell, and the other partners in Greater Sunrise to bring gas onshore to Darwin. Next to that field is Evans Shoal, a large field in its own right containing around 6 trillion cubic feet of gas, although there is much carbon dioxide in that field. For quite some time that carbon dioxide has precluded that field from exploitation because it is too difficult to deal with. However, technologies change and I am led to believe Evans Shoal presents itself perfectly to supply gas into Darwin to create methanol. Methanol, for the information of members, is created through a chemical process. LNG is created by stripping off the liquids and unwanted gases and fundamentally freezing that gas into a liquid form, putting it on very large and expensive ships in a liquid form- a very cold form - and transporting it overseas. Methanol is a chemical process. The capital costs of the methanol plant are nowhere near that of an LNG plant; however, the ongoing labour costs are much higher. What we are talking about is jobs for Territorians. I heard nothing from the Chief Minister, our Mines minister, or anyone else from the other side about how we might progress development of the Evans Shoal field, have a methanol plant in Darwin and start producing methanol. Methanol is a very greenhouse-friendly fuel, both in its creation and use. Through the chemical process, carbon dioxide is required to make methanol. Not only could the gas from Evans Shoal be used in the creation of methanol, we may also be able to use the excess carbon dioxide from the ConocoPhillips plant and the proposed INPEX plant. Attracting a methanol producer into Darwin to exploit the Evans Shoal reserve may be well worth pursuing. I am disappointed we have not heard more from the government on this matter. I am aware, at the SEAOCC conference several weeks ago, presentations were made in relation to methanol; however we have not heard anything from this government. I pray they are working behind the scenes to progress that. Returning to the statement, what absolute utter rot are the Chief Ministers first words about strengthening and deepening our economy. Goodness me, everywhere we look people are in turmoil. We hear of problems in education. The member for Brennan, in Question Time today, asked the Education minister about numbers of people not enrolled in school. Evidently there are 7000 throughout the Northern Territory. This problem has to be looked at in reality. There are problems protecting children and their wellbeing. This report says things have worsened since the problems were first identified in the Little Children are Sacred report - a report former Chief Minister, Clare Martin, tried to sweep under the carpet, tried to hide from the public. It was probably the blackest day and the blackest episode in the Territorys history. It was appalling the way the then Chief Minister, Clare Martin, tried to hide the report from public view. The federal Indigenous Affairs minister at the time, Mal Brough, had to source it from the Internet because the Chief Minister could not be bothered furnishing him with a copy. He received it after stories hit the media - things were that bad. Hopefully, this government will learn from that and gone will be the days of trying to hide such damning reports from public view. Crime is out of control. Whilst at the Masters Games in Alice Springs I saw cars vandalised with smashed windows, etcetera. People visit my office saying they spent their whole life pining to go Alice Springs, went once, and were scared to walk down the mall. In my own electorate, antisocial behaviour in Territory Housing properties is beyond a joke. The fact this government refuses to release water in the Katherine/Mataranka/Daly River areas - a seven or eight year moratorium on land clearing in the Daly - could not pull out a weed along the Daly. How does that help farmers? How does that help anyone? It does nothing for the environment and nothing for economic production. What is happening with the Ord River Stage 2? Western Australia is trying to develop the Ord; however, they need the economies of scale for the Ord to work at maximum benefit to all. It requires Ord Stage 2, which requires action from this government on the Territory side of the border, and this government has done nothing about it. We saw, at the Araluen by-election, how 6527