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