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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Minister insulting NSW communities over gas

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Federal industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, is insulting the intelligence of communities across NSW who have legitimate concerns about the unconventional gas industry including CSG, when he perpetuates the myth that NSW must develop CSG to keep pace with Queensland.

There is no gas supply crisis, and any expected rises in gas prices will be caused by gas producers rushing to export gas at higher prices rather than providing it to the domestic market.

Gas companies such as Dart Energy and Metgasco are geared to export most of the gas they produce to maximise their returns to shareholders and they will do so at the expense of the northern rivers region.

In May 2011, head of gas resources at BHP Mike Yeager stated, ‘there is enough uncontracted conventional gas in the Bass Strait fields to last the east coast of Australia  indefinitely,’ which raises the question: just whose agenda is Ian Macfarlane pushing?

It’s also a myth to say that NSW must have energy independence. Last time I looked we lived in a federation, one that has interstate networks for gas distribution.

Just last week Origin Energy signed a contract for future gas supply for the NSW market from conventional reserves in Bass Strait.

Origin had to pay export parity prices for that gas as east coast gas supplies will be linked to global markets via the massive Gladstone LNG developments when they come online.

With the huge demand for gas from these new export facilities and the higher export prices, any CSG development in NSW will likely be sucked up for export and domestic users will still have to compete with international prices for the gas.

Mr Macfarlane has put himself on a collision course with the vast majority of people in the northern rivers.

Governmental bullying and name calling is not going to work.

More than 85 per cent of the region, together with politicians of all parties, including our newly elected Page MP Kevin Hogan, stand united in our opposition to invasive industrial gasfield development in the northern rivers.

Ian Gaillard, Lock the Gate Northern Rivers

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  1. You Ian Gaillard not Ian Macfarlane are insulting NSW communities over gas. The voters particularly in Page saw right through the campaign of fear and misinformation.
    Federal industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, made the current Government’s proposed gas policy crystal clear before the election, particularly clear to the electorate of PAGE the only electorate with gas potential conventional gas or CSG in the Northern Rivers.
    Contrary to what you say, there is an impending gas supply crisis, and expected rises in gas prices, putting your head in the sand won’t assist local jobs or industry. Major employer industries are already leaving NSW.
    The impending gas cost and supply constraints is why major local employers such as Richmond Dairies have sought and contracted future local gas supplies from Metgasco. They are currently paying 3x times the price for gas compared to industrial users in other states and the future looked bleak.
    You say, that “Mr Macfarlane has put himself on a collision course with the vast majority of people in the northern rivers” and that “More than 85 per cent of the region [is] united in our opposition”. Nonsense!
    The clear result in Page showed a massive swing to the Nationals; a swing to NATS of more than 12% in the rural booths with gas potential. Both the Nationals and Labor’s policy on gas and energy favoured development.
    Having voted, more than 90% of the PAGE electorate voted either Labor or National. We can forget about the No CSG party vote in the senate!
    The Greens election material clearly stated they were the “only” party in the electorate of PAGE clearly against the development of gas in the region. The Greens vote was down by 30%, with a primary vote of just over 6%.
    Even Kevin Rudd said on a visit to Casino “this region will be cooking with gas”. I guess the electorate believed Kevin and Ian Macfarlane and voted that way.

  2. Ian MacFarlane stated, this very year, that CSG mining should not be operating in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Pity he was just lying about his views when he said that. And the Liberals said Julia Gillard was a liar!


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