Thursday, 11 April 2024

Shadow Minister for Resources and for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, has labelled a Greens-led Senate Inquiry into the Northern Territory’s Middle Arm development precinct a “farce” amid revelations witnesses at this week’s Darwin hearings had been threatened with “tribal punishment”.

Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, made the explosive statement at today’s hearings that witnesses had been intimidated and assaulted.

Senators McDonald and Nampijinpa Price joined Northern Territory Leader of the Opposition, Lia Finocchiaro defending the Middle Arm project and condemning the hearings.

“Gas companies have been prevented from giving evidence which is absolutely shocking, even for the Greens,” said Senator McDonald.

“The lack of transparency the Greens have shown in stitching up today’s hearing in Darwin to bar relevant witnesses, silence dissenting Senators and instead create a radical anti-development echo chamber has been a disgrace. 

“The deliberately one-sided evidence clearly makes this inquiry nothing but an illegitimate Greens political stunt that denies Northern Territorians jobs, self determination and the same quality of life that their southern neighbours enjoy.

“The Greens have abused the Senate Inquiry process by turning these hearings into a show trial of gas companies, and they aren’t even allowed to defend themselves. It’s a farce.”

Senator Nampijinpa Price said: “Despite the attempt from the Greens to engineer the outcome of this inquiry, they got more than they bargained for. Witnesses threatened other attendants with violence, called on Australia to repent, there was advocacy for separate traditional law and its superiority to the ordinary law of the land, and the legitimacy of our elected governments was dismissed. 

“This inquiry is not being conducted in the interest of Territorians or our most marginalised, but in the interest of the green left. Middle Arm has until now enjoyed bipartisan support, as it stands the Albanese Government should have never let this inquiry get off the ground.”

Mrs Finocchiaro said: “GetUp! can get out, and take the Teals and Greens with them. Labor might pander to these economic vandals but the CLP will not.

“Labor has sided with anti-gas campaigners both here and down south on every occasion, no matter what they may say as an election approaches, they continuously halted and stopped progress on gas projects and our economy has suffered because of it.

“Territorians want the economic opportunities that come with a safe and well regulated gas industry and the only way that will happen is under a CLP Government.”