New documents have emerged which appear to show the NT Gunner Government is preparing to use public money to fund a gas pipeline from Tennant Creek to Darwin, despite the increasingly dire state of the industry.
Maps associated with the government’s call to tender show the pipeline would travel from Tennant Creek to a gas hub near Darwin where it could then be exported to Asian countries.
Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking said it was a disturbing revelation at a time when gas fracking companies were indefinitely putting their operations in the NT on hold.
“It’s bad enough the NT Government would spend public money propping up the fracking industry,” he said.
“But to do so at a time when companies, like Origin Energy, are announcing indefinite pauses on their projects is just madness.”
Dan Robins from Protect Country Alliance in Darwin said it made no sense to be supporting an economically unviable industry.
“The gas industry in the NT is in decline,” he said.
“Santos’ share price has dropped dramatically since the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia began, and the company has indefinitely deferred a decision on the $4.7 billion Barossa gas project.
“Meanwhile, Origin has halted its operations in the Beetaloo Basin.
“There is no sound reason for public money to be spent on gas infrastructure even when economic times are good, but to do so now is simply lunacy.
“The gas companies have had the sense to pack up and delay operations. Our government must stop spending taxpayers’ money on this wasteful project. The jobs for the northern gas pipeline were a few sandbagging jobs that came and went. The NT government should reconsider this decision to spend money on a pipeline in light of the current situation.”
Mr Cocking said, “With a strong need to take serious action to avoid the worst of climate change, now is not the time for the NT Government to be wasting our money on gas. We could be upgrading our energy system to embrace our world class solar energy opportunities.
“We could make the NT the solar based manufacturing hub for the world, and still our Government seems to be blindly sinking our cash into polluting and unviable fracked gas infrastructure.”