The Australian Energy Market Operator’s annual assessment of the east coast gas market, released today, shows there is no need for the Morrison Government to waste Australian taxpayer dollars opening up new and polluting gasfields across the country.
The report predicts that fuel switching and efficiency opportunities mean there will be little to no growth in demand for gas by Australia’s manufacturing sector, and in fact demand may fall due to the increasing availability and lower price of renewable energy.
“This shoots a hole through the Morrison Government’s entire reasoning behind wanting to open up new and polluting gasfields across the country,” said Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Naomi Hogan.
“The AEMO report exposes Morrison’s waste of taxpayer money for what it always was - a thinly veiled attempt by the Morrison Government to support its polluting mates in the gas industry.
“The Morrison Government must immediately stop trying to sacrifice the lands of Traditional Owners, farmers, and communities to the greedy and destructive gas industry.
“Today's report from the Energy Market Operator shows it's absolutely not necessary.
“The Morrison Government must now admit its Covid-19 fracking recovery plan has run out of gas, and stop wasting millions of dollars trying to open up new polluting gasfields.”
AEMO’s latest report comes at a time when farmers on Queensland’s Western Downs, where the coal seam gas industry has already punctured farmland and aquifers like a pincushion, are raising fears over the likely subsidence Arrow Energy’s $10B Surat Gas Project will cause.
“Coal seam gas and fracking companies have already ripped up thousands of hectares of our best farming land, drained precious aquifers, and all we have to show for it is a gas price crisis,” Ms Hogan said.
“We are the world’s second largest LNG exporter, and yet the ACCC recently found gas users in Australia often pay higher prices than our customers in Asia. In fact, despite a recent - and likely temporary - drop in the price of gas, Australian manufacturers still pay a price higher than export parity.
“It beggars belief that the Morrison Government has spent recent months running around the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin announcing hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidise fracking.
“The solution is clear - we must abandon this failed experiment, stop sacrificing farmland and water, and start investing towards getting off gas for good. There are sensible solutions in a decarbonising world that will not involve risking Australia's precious groundwater.
“The transition to renewable energy is already well underway. We would be much better off if the Morrison Government focused on aiding this transition, rather than a ham fisted attempt to waste taxpayer funds propping up polluting gas companies.”