Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon today condemned the Prime Minister and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon for doing a dirty deal over the Turnbull Government’s tax cuts to business, involving the funding of a feasibility study for a gas pipeline from the Territory into South Australia without any thought for the views of the Northern Territory Government, let alone the NT community more generally.
“There appear to have been a whole range of presumptions and assumptions made around this deal, without any voice from the Territory being part of it.”
“The NT Government was not consulted either by Senator Xenophon or the Prime Minister, and I know that as the Member for Lingiari, the electorate through which any pipeline would be built and from which any onshore gas sent down it would be extracted from, I wasn’t either,” Mr Snowdon said.
“I am at an absolute loss to understand how any such deal could be entered into without the Territory being at the table.”
“Apparently neither Senator Xenophon or the Prime Minister could care less about the fact that there is currently a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the NT, and without knowing the future for the industry here, if there is to be one at all, this deal is simply extraordinary.”
“In these circumstances any speculation about a future pipeline is pre-emptive and irresponsible,” Mr Snowdon said.
“I am certain if the boot was on the other foot and someone not representing SA made a similar dodgy deal involving SA, Nick Xenophon would be up in arms.”
“Doing a political deal is one thing, but purporting to represent the interests or views of the people of the Northern Territory, including the Northern Territory Government, without so much as a phone call, let alone any consultation, demonstrates nothing but disrespect for the people of the Northern Territory,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Furthermore there is the need to consider the particular issues around land access in the Territory, which are peculiar to it. For example the fact that around 50% of the land in the Territory is Aboriginal Freehold land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (1976).”
“Both the Prime Minister and Senator Xenophon should know that Territorians don’t take lightly to having decisions taken that affect them, are about them or for them without their engagement and agreement, as they have done.”
“It seems that in their arrogance neither Senator Xenophon nor the Prime Minister can be bothered taking the time to speak with or otherwise engage with Territorians on what would be a significant infrastructure project with major implications for the Territory.”
“Their only interest was the deal,” Mr Snowdon said.
MONDAY APRIL 3 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: MARCUS FEAVER 0473 887 759