In Planning

Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Lands and Planning David Tollner

Village Idiots

Victor P Taffa

The Henderson Government and Independent Member for Nelson need to explain why proper planning processes appear to have been abandoned at the proposed Howard Springs INPEX workers’ village.

Deputy Opposition Leader, Kezia Purick, Shadow Minister for Lands and Planning, David Tollner, Shadow Minister for Transport and Construction, Adam Giles and Country Liberals candidate for Nelson, Judy Cole, attended a public meeting this afternoon organised to address resident concerns at changes to the workers’ village plan.

“Residents are outraged at the lack of consultation surrounding the proposed changes and the fact that Gerry Wood and the Henderson Labor Government appear to be missing in action.” Mr. Tollner said.

“Despite being invited by residents to attend the meeting, it was clear our arrival was unwelcome. In an extraordinary move, the meeting was shut down when a newspaper reporter arrived.”

“The Labor Government, in association with Gerry Wood, appears to have given developers INPEX and JKC carte blanche to change what they want from the plan that was originally given development approval.”

“The lack of transparency is unacceptable and another sign the Government is incapable of managing the change that will come with the Darwin LNG development.”

The proposed changes involve the relocation of a sewerage pumping station and the removal of a large chunk of a 50 metre buffer zone at the Stow Road end of the workers’ village.

“INPEX and JKC are blaming PowerWater, but it’s impossible to know who is responsible because of the complete lack of transparency around the village project.” Mr. Giles said.

“There have been no pink signs flagging their plans and the negative response to our arrival and the presence of the reporter at today’s meeting were a serious cause for concern.”

“The Henderson Labor Government and Gerry Wood are obviously backing changes that haven’t even been scrutinised by residents.”

Ms. Cole voiced serious concerns at the environmental impacts of the sewerage pumping station relocation.

“Residents are worried that any problems experienced by the enclosed sewerage holding tank could result in sewage seeping into the water table or the Howard Springs during the Wet.” Ms. Cole said.

“There are also concerns held at the smell of raw sewage from about 2,500 workers leaking through the breather pipes and having a seriously detrimental impact on the amenity of residents.”

Mr. Tollner said Labor’s approach is in stark contrast to the Country Liberals’ commitment to proper and transparent planning.

“We will plan properly for the future, not just for our political survival.” Mr. Tollner said.

“Labor has thrown open the Territory’s planning processes to third parties. A Country Liberals Government will return them to the people.”

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