Lock the Gate Alliance has condemned the decision by the Queensland Palaszczuk Government to sacrifice even more land to the destructive, polluting unconventional gas industry.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham bizarrely reannounced the news that he was releasing 6700 square kilometres to the voracious CSG industry this morning, despite the announcement having already been made a week ago.
“Minister Lynham is so desperate to flog off bits of Queensland to the unconventional gas industry, he’s literally re-announcing old news,” Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said.
“Rather than propping up the coal and gas industry, Mr Lynham should be focussed on strong plans for QLD’s regions that support food and fibre and regional economic development.”
Ms Smith said Minister Lynham’s announcement contained massive subsidies for the unconventional gas industry, including a 12-month waiver of rent on exploration land due between 1 April and 1 September, and a freeze on fees and charges until 1 July 2021.
She said this was unacceptable during the coronavirus-driven economic crisis.
“The Palaszczuk Government should concentrate on supporting the communities that keep food on the tables of Australians rather than backing industries that destroy land and water resources," Ms Smith said.
“Taxpayers should not have to fund gas exploration minnows that can’t pay basic lease fees.
“The water guzzling coal seam gas industry clearly can’t stand on its own two feet.
“If the exploration companies can’t pay a paltry $2.95 per subblock for their exploration tenures per year, then we have to question whether they should be trusted to be accessing land and drilling through our precious groundwater tables.
“Minister Lynham spruiks the benefits of this announcement for domestic manufacturing when the numbers clearly show that over 85% of this gas will go straight to international markets.”
“The Palaszczuk Government should be spending on sustainable industries like renewable energy, tourism, and agriculture, not giving handouts to destructive and polluting CSG companies.
“The office of groundwater impact assessment has warned that more than 500 bores will be drained by the existing coal seam gas industry. Releasing even more land for exploration at a time when we should be protecting farmland - and the water it depends on - makes no sense at all.”