Stop CSG Party NSW Senate candidate Gordon Fraser has accused Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson of ‘misleading spin’ in his recent statement that the company can supply its planned Casino power station with a single ‘conventional’ gas well in the northern rivers.
And he dismissed a survey quoted by the gas company executive, which claims to show 70 per cent support in the Richmond Valley for coal seam gas, as ‘push polling’.
Mr Henderson hit the local media trail this week, saying the company could be back in business in three to six months if ‘more favourable’ regulations were in place.
Mr Fraser said Mr Henderson seemed to be hoping that a change in federal government would favour the company’s plans.
He added that Mr Henderson’s statements regarding whether the power station would supply baseload or peak power were ‘inconsistent’.
‘Metgasco has been proven thus far to not be transparent and their claim that they are going to use conventional gas in a power station in place of renewable energy is spurious. His claim that renewable energy is unreliable is not the case,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘[Mr Henderson] says he is going to use his energy only for peak demand. What you would be arguing there is that you get a better return on investment. But what he says then is that he’s going to use it for a principal client, which would be baseload demand. So his argument is internally inconsistent.
‘The other thing he’s not saying is that, in addition to developing that one “conventional” well, he’s going to have to develop other unconventional wells in order to satisfy demand, including some under the town of Casino.’
He said even the claim that the Rosella E01 gasfield near Casino is ‘conventional’ has yet to be demonstrated.
‘They haven’t actually proven categorically to scientists in the region that it is in fact a conventional gasfield. So until the data are provided, I have to take everything he says with a grain of salt.’
Mr Fraser also criticised a survey conducted by Richmond Valley Council and quoted by Mr Henderson claiming 70 per cent support for CSG in the shire.
‘At no time has the methodology been released and at no time have the data been released to do an analysis on,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘What we’ve got is what’s called “push polling”. They’ve used a technique that yields an outcome that the poll is designed to yield [by the wording it uses].
‘What they’ve asked is, “If CSG is proven to be safe and create employment, would you support the development of a CSG industry?”’
‘An alternative question, for example, would have been, “Do you support a gasfield in your community or do you oppose it?” That’s the wording that the Lock the Gate movement uses.
‘But I put it to Peter Henderson that a question that is equally valid [to his] might be, “Given that CSG internationally has been proven to be damaging to health, economically damaging and damaging to farmers’ land and water, would you support the CSG industry?”’