Building expensive polluting gasfields in NSW’s north west cannot lower gas prices in New South Wales, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
Responding to a new report released by the NSW Business Chamber today, LTGA NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods said the Chamber’s narrow focus on expensive gas from Narrabri failed to provide a vision for sustainable industry supplied by low-cost and inexhaustible renewable energy.
“Santos is an architect of the gas price crisis and it is in that company’s interests for gas prices to stay high enough to crash the state’s manufacturing industry," she said.
"Coal seam gas produced at Narrabri would entrench the pattern of high-cost, low-yield and unreliable gas supplies. What manufacturing needs in NSW is a bit of vision and an industry plan for switching to cheap and reliable renewable energy.
“This year’s ACCC gas inquiry interim report showed that supply for gas has increased and demand has dropped. There’s no shortage of gas, there’s just too much expensive gas that drains aquifers and wrecks rural communities and economies.
“We are in a gas price crisis and drilling new polluting and expensive gasfields will do nothing to solve the problem."
Ms Woods said opening up the north west of NSW to coal seam gas production would risk damaging the Great Artesian Basin and other aquifers relied on by farming communities, particularly during this time of severe drought.
“Farmers and communities in the north west do not deserve to be sacrificed for the profits of big gas companies and neither does our manufacturing industry," she said.
“The NSW Business Chamber needs to look ahead to how its members can access the reliable low-cost energy that renewables can provide.
“It needs to tell the Government to support switching industry to cheaper, sustainable energy to bring down costs and safeguard our precious groundwater.”