The gas industry’s “blueprint” would destroy thousands of hectares of farmland and drain underground water sources, thereby harming regional and rural communities around the country if it was implemented, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
Media is reporting the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is seeking to wind back critical environmental safeguards as it seeks to expand the unconventional gas industry, despite widespread community opposition.
“This is a blueprint for disaster. The gas industry is dishing out more of the same from the cartel that built gas export terminals at Gladstone and drove gas prices up to unaffordable levels,” said Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Naomi Hogan.
“Now they can’t get a critical mass of customers for their expensive damaging gasfields and they’re expecting us to pay to sacrifice our most critical resource - our underground water.
“The arrogant attempt by APPEA to strip Australia of the Water Trigger, which provides independent scientific advice on Coal Seam Gas impacts to nationally significant water resources, shows the blatant disregard the gas industry has for science and water protection.
“The world has moved on from gas. Renewables with storage are now the cheaper, more efficient option for powering our economy, including reigniting our manufacturing industry. The best thing about renewables is they don’t require the permanent destruction of farmland and contamination or drawdown of water that local communities rely on.”
Coonamble Stock and station agent and Beef producer David Chadwick, who is among the many north west NSW landholders battling the destructive Santos Narrabri gasfield said, “It’s absolutely outrageous that the gas and fracking industry has so much control over conservative politicians, especially the National Party.
“We’ve been consistent for years now about the need to protect underground water, and all we’re seeing is a lack of foresight in that a dying industry like the gas industry is being prioritised over food production.
“When it goes bad all these stupid decisions made by people that won’t be around anymore will have to be suffered by those that are struggling to feed not only Australia but the world.”