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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

20 Ways to F-Up an Economy. No.5 The Ichthys Project

20 ways how to F—k up an economy!

By our Local NT Government. (witnessed and written about by me, a lowly peasant, oops I mean citizen, but I don't want to steal their limelight, they did all the work... proudly.)

Don’t get me wrong, continuously I’ve discussed economic factors and events with several sitting and aspiring politicians and pundits from both sides of the isle.

To say Holes and Homes is their main concern would be an understatement, but forgiving the lack of economic and financial intelligence by both the local bureaucracy and the ignorant presented for us to vote for, what we have seen is that they can’t even get the Mining and Housing sector right, so we didn’t stand much of a chance for anything else.

For those blaming either side for the problems, I say, they have both been as bad as each other, but given that we currently have a government with a massive, albeit, unstoppable majority of 18 members and an opposition of 2, this current government could really make some changes to fix things, but lets reflect first on both sides F-ups.

I’m releasing one of these at a time, then I’ll provide 20 ways they might make some positive changes, so in the new year we might be able to re-invigorate our currently sitting government to get back to work and maybe represent the people again, as most who know me can attest, I have a critical mind, with a positive outlook.

Number 5 - The Ichthys Project.

Its not the most expensive gas project in the world (the Gorgon Project currently holds that title) it has the highest cost per tonne of production.


Well first because a failure to plan for the massive lack of skills in Australia and the Territory.

Next massive financial disputes with multi-national firms, some going belly-up due to financial mismanagement and as both the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers have shown some have been allegedly involved in international money laundering, to evade Australian taxation and regulation.

We the Australian tax payer gave millions (some would say Billions when comparing gas price index) in incentives to get this project here, but our departments have failed to regulate and investigate. Why? One of the reasons is self-regulation and self reporting, yeah, well that really works..Not!

The project has had several deaths, both due to avoidable accidents and suicide, but you would barely know it, because the media has been relatively silent on it. (That may change as they see their revenue from propaganda start to dry up)

The Greatest kick in the guts is that whilst expected to produce slightly more gas that the whole nation of Qatar, once it is up and running, it will provide less than 1/33rd the revenue to the Australian tax payer as our finance and treasury representatives and consultants couldn’t negotiate a handy at Lilly’s.

Ichthys is the largest southern hemisphere project at the moment and apart from snowy River 2.0 project that may start in 2020, it may be the start of several major projects available to Darwin in the next 10 plus years, some dwarfing it in size, scale and productivity.

Now I’m a progressive, so I want jobs, industry and I love wealth and prosperity being delivered to the people. But a more pragmatic approach could and should have been used. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, or as I like to tell it, the long neck and the Rabbit, sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Let's not repeat the same mistakes next time.

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