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What the Frack?

I have certain basic rules. I don’t always follow them, mind you, but I always question what I’m doing if I find myself breaking them. And one of those rules is, when a salesman tells me that I’m missing a great opportunity by not signing up here and now because the opportunity will be gone, I say, “Well, that’s just my bad luck then” and walk away.

So Peter Reith certainly didn’t win me when he urged to Victoria Government to adopt his recommendations on fracking:

‘But Mr Reith said the government did not have the luxury of time, warning that from early next year natural gas exporters would be forced to use domestic gas supplies to fulfil massive foreign contracts. This would force up power bills and place the manufacturing sector under further pressure.

”They are taking a huge risk with a lot of people’s jobs if they are not prepared to do something to promote supply in Victoria,” Mr Reith told Fairfax Media. ”I’m not prepared to sit quietly and see that possibly happen.”

He said prices had already started to rise and warned of big power bill increases for households.’

Read more:

I must confess. I’m not an expert on the topic. Many of the articles I read struck me as hysterical and reminiscent of the ones I’d read on the dangers of wind farms. Others, however, made me feel that this was something we shouldn’t be rushing to embrace. After all, what harm does it do if we take our time and make sure that this is safe?

No, screeches Peter Reith, people’s jobs are at risk. We must act now. No time to lose.

And we can surely trust Peter. He was a minister in the Howard Government.


PETER REITH: I am told that someone has looked at it and it is an absolute fact children were thrown into the water.


“We were not aware of any decision taken by Mr Corrigan to replace his workforce and in respect of the overseas training in Dubai; the fact of that was simply news to us until it was publicly exposed.”


PETER REITH: In the nine month period to the 30th of August there were 619 to Malaysia, 448 calls from Singapore, 317 calls to Singapore, 389 calls from various mobile phones, 478 calls from various countries back to Australia – 2,301 calls in total costing $9,100.45. So my immediate reaction was – well, obviously I haven’t been using the card and obviously this card has fallen into, you know, the wrong hands as it were and there was an unauthorised.

Of course, one could point out with the phone card, that the card didn’t “fall” into the wrong hands – he actually gave the details to his son. These were already the “wrong hands” and the fact that the details leaked further from there was a matter of scale rather than appropriateness.

It always strikes me that jobs are important but sometimes there’s a case for taking one’s time and ensuring that what one does is safe. (Isn’t that the basis – rightly or wrongly – of the criticism of Labor’s home insulation scheme?) Obviously, we don’t hear people concerned that reducing the road toll may lead to less work for undertakers and panel beaters, so why are jobs so important in some areas that we don’t even consider the complications?

But back to the thing about rules. If you’re going to break them you need a good reason.

Some of my rules are:

  • Don’t trust anyone who tries to rush you into something.
  • Always check information and don’t rely on just one source.
  • Never believe anything Peter Reith says.

I may need to find out more about this fracking thing. Don’t see any need to rush into it.

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