Lock the Gate Alliance has labelled Angus Taylor’s decision to give millions more in public cash to fossil gas companies, as disrespectful, coming as it does on the very same day as a Senate Inquiry hearing is being held in Darwin to hear Territorian’s views on the practice.
Mr Taylor’s announcement includes public support for a feasibility study into transferring gas from the Northern Territory to the east coast. He will make the announcement in Gladstone, which underscores his real intent of shoring up the three LNG export terminals there so more gas can be exported overseas.
The National Gas Infrastructure Plan last year admitted that there was likely to be a shortfall in export capacity from the Gladstone terminals by the end of the decade (see p 4 NGIP).
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Carmel Flint said Mr Taylor’s announcement was a cynical political move that lacked logic.
“Energy experts know the smart money is on renewable energy, not tying Australia to expensive and polluting fossil gas,” she said.
“The Federal Government is only interested in making sure big gas companies like Origin Energy don’t run short of gas for export - there is zero interest in looking after the interests of Territorians and everyday Australians.
“By prioritising gas for export, the Federal Government keeps Australia tied to global gas prices, thereby driving up the cost of gas for Australian consumers.
“Releasing more land for gas will do nothing to lower gas prices, it only serves to appease the Morrison Government’s gas industry mates who want to make sure they can continue shipping our gas overseas without constraint.
“The fact is that Mr Taylor’s announcement will harm communities who have the misfortune of living next to planned gas developments.
“The Senate Hearing into the Morrison Government’s foolish decision to waste public money on gas is happening in Darwin right now because the NT community is so fiercely opposed to fracking.
“In Southern Queensland, farmers are now struggling with hundreds of depleted water bores that have been drained or compromised thanks to the governments who have allowed the gas industry to run rampant.
“Methane and salty water is bubbling to the surface on farms near where gas development has occurred. Companies are drilling directionally beneath farms and causing subsidence that impedes landholders’ ability to farm.
“Letting the unconventional gas industry loose in Queensland was one of the biggest mistakes in this country’s history. It must not be repeated across Australia.”