The Northern Territory Government has demonstrated it is operating in a gas-fired echo chamber with no new investment into climate action or protecting the environment in the budget delivered yesterday.
“It’s totally astounding, that in 2016 when world leaders have agreed to try and limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees, there is no mention of climate in the NT budget, no investment into renewable energy and no further investment into ensuring the health of our environment,” said Jimmy Cocking, Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
“What we see instead is $5.95 million of Territory tax payers’ money being allocated on gas ‘industry grants’ and ‘accelerated’ assessment of the Territory’s shale gas industry,” said Mr Cocking.
“The NT Government needs to be looking forward, not backwards. The future will be powered by renewable energy. Stanford University lecturer Tony Seba has stated to energy investors in Australia this week that ‘within just 15 years conventional energy production and transport will have been rendered obsolete’, and ‘there is "no excuse" for any board of a utility in Australia not to know what's coming’. Is buying 10 new gas fired engines for Alice Springs really the way forward?” asked Mr Cocking.
“The best the NT government has come up with is $8.5M over two years for the Alice Springs smart grid trial, which is welcomed as at least a small positive step forward. However more details are required and it falls short of any meaningful investment into the kind of energy systems that need to be developed if we are to make the transition to renewable energy.”
“We need to the NT Government to take off the rose-coloured glasses supplied by the gas industry, and realise that it’s time we joined communities all over the world in making the transition to renewable energy. We need to see an NT Renewable Energy Policy developed immediately, and a strategy to start the transition. The sun is almost always shining in the NT, when are territory politicians going to wake up to this?” said Mr Cocking.