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Chief Scientist’s energy review must stop ignoring cost of gas and impacts on farmers

The Lock the Gate Alliance has delivered a stinging rebuke to the notion that Australia should build more gas-fired power stations in its submission to the Chief Scientist’s national energy review.

Submissions to the preliminary report of the Review into the Future of the National Electricity Market, being chaired by Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, close tomorrow.

The preliminary report promoted greater gas supplies for electricity generation, describing it as “increasingly urgent,” but failed to address the rising cost and damage from gas mining.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “Politicians in Canberra are having the wool pulled over their eyes by greedy gas companies.

“The roll out of unconventional gas for export in Queensland has driven up domestic gas prices and created market turmoil while at the same time inflicting considerable damage to farmland, water and other industries.

“In every other state and the Northern Territory, rural communities have seen the damage and are flat out rejecting unconventional gas mining. As a result, state governments are finally starting to respond to this overwhelming public opposition.

“Unconventional gas is expensive, it’s risky and now it is also politically untenable. Fortunately for Australia, it is also unnecessary.

“There are clean and reliable energy options like concentrated solar thermal ready to be built. Unlike coal and gas, renewable energy will not lock in rising energy prices or damaging mining activity.

“A clean, safe and prosperous future is beckoning and the only thing holding this country back is the stranglehold that the mining industry has over energy policy in this country.

“The task of the Finkel electricity review is not to push gas mining onto unwilling regional communities but to propose a blueprint for a smooth adjustment towards the kind of electricity generation that investors and the public want built: renewable, non-extractive and non-polluting."

Lock the Gate's submission is available here

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