Lock the Gate tells inquiry: don't make more mistakes on CSG

Published: January 28, 2015

The NSW Parliamentary inquiry into to the supply and cost of gas and liquid fuels in New South Wales has heard this morning from the Lock the Gate Alliance that CSG miners are costing NSW households dearly due to rising gas prices, and that there will be no gas shortage in NSW.

The first non-Government witness to give evidence to the inquiry this morning was Carmel Flint, National Campaign Coordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance, followed by Santos Vice President James Baulderstone, Senior Economist from The Australia Institute, Matt Grudnoff, University of Melbourne Energy Institute advisor Timothy Forcey, followed by representatives of AGL.

Ms Flint said, “There is no gas shortage in New South Wales, and there will not be one. But there will be a price shock, brought on by the commencement of LNG exports from Queensland, without any proper assessment of the negative impacts on the rest of the economy."

CSG companies engaged in LNG exports in Queensland have failed to disclose the degree to which they have entered into contracts they cannot fulfil, or the prices they have locked in to those contracts.

"CSG companies are set to triple the amount of gas being produced in eastern Australia, and plan to export most of it, and at the same time are running a scare campaign that NSW is running out of gas and more CSG drilling must be approved. Nobody is buying it.

"Gas companies are even trying to blame communities who are opposed to coal seam gas mining for the gas price hike - when it has been thoroughly established that they have caused it themselves by linking Australia to far higher Asian gas prices".

A new report by the Melbourne Energy Institute today has debunked claims of a looming gas shortage.

"It's time for the NSW Government to govern in the interest of its constituents, not the CSG miners. They need to re-write their NSW Gas Plan, to deliver a Food and Energy Plan that will protect farmlands and deliver cheaper energy for NSW.

"The tired old scare campaigns being run by the CSG industry have been debunked. Now the NSW Government needs to take real action to diversify the NSW economy to ensure a more secure energy future, that is not at the whim of profit-driven gas producers.

"We have urged the Committee today to adopt a set of recommendations that will prevent the CSG industry holding NSW citizens to ransom, and that will result in a healthier community and thriving economy.

"We can protect water, farmland, bushland and public health and have a prosperous economy. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something," she said.

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