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Premier Palaszczuk set to waste taxpayer money on dirty gas handout

Queensland taxpayers should be outraged the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to waste public funds propping up the polluting and increasingly economically unviable unconventional gas industry, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced $5 million in taxpayer funds “to support a feasibility study into a gas pipeline from the Bowen Basin”.

“Ironically, the Premier has made this announcement on the same day Origin Energy and Santos - both major players in Queensland’s polluting coal seam gas industry - have posted huge losses in their 2019/2020 Financial Year statements,” said Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Vicki Perrin.

Origin’s statutory profit fell by 93% down to $83 million from $1.2 billion due to lower oil price and falling demand, while Santos have posted a loss of $402 million AUD, also due to lower oil prices and lessening of demand.

“Let’s be clear - gas prices were tanking even before the Covid-19 economic downturn hit,” said Ms Perrin.

“Not only will Premier Palaszczuk’s announcement today cause unnecessary uncertainty and angst for landholders who may fall in the path of the planned pipeline, but it doesn’t even make economic sense.

“It’s time Queensland got off the gas and truly embraced its wealth of renewable energy resources.

“We have already sacrificed more than enough of beautiful Queensland for the greedy gas companies to then ship the gas offshore - since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 70,000 km2 of land for gas exploration - that’s more land than the size of Tasmania. This handout will do little for our state and everything for the gas hungry export facilities. 

“Queensland taxpayers should absolutely not have to stump up $5 million for a feasibility study for an uneconomical boom-bust and polluting industry that has been shown to have a net negative impact on jobs.”

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