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Southern states must stand firm against Morrison Government’s gas grab

Lock the Gate Alliance condemns the Federal Government’s attempts to bully NSW and Victoria into opening new polluting and unwanted unconventional gas fields.

LTGA spokesperson Naomi Hogan said building new unconventional gas fields would only lock-in high prices for domestic gas, and impose damage and disruption on regional communities fighting hard to stop the invasive industry.

“The unconventional gas industry is high-cost, high-risk, and has caused economic and social upheaval in eastern Australia,” she said.

“Opening up more farming land to expensive fracking and coal seam gas will only keep gas prices high for consumers.

“Gas prices have more than tripled from about $4 a gigajoule in 2014 because gas from Queensland was linked to the international market via export terminals in Gladstone.

“Australia currently exports two thirds of the gas produced on the eastern seaboard - there is no need for us to put precious groundwater at risk for more gas drilling.

“Last year, Australia eclipsed Qatar as the biggest LNG exporter in the world. Clearly, we are suffering from a gas price crisis, not a gas supply crisis, as Scott Morrison and Matt Canavan would have the Australian people believe.”

Ms Hogan said the attempt to bully Victorian and NSW governments was just the Morrison Government trying to distract from its own inaction on gas price policy.

“The Government has done little to stop the big gas companies from sending most of their gas offshore and overcharging Australian customers,” she said.

“State gas regulations are in place because farmers across the country have been forced to stand up and protect their livelihoods and the food they produce for us all.

“Instead of bullying state governments, the Morrison Government should be cracking down on the big gas companies, which are ripping off domestic customers by funnelling our gas overseas.

“In particular, we call on the NSW Government to prioritise protecting groundwater at Narrabri where Santos wants to build its polluting gas field, rather than putting it in danger for a high risk, short term gasfield that will only do harm. 

“The best way to break the stranglehold gas companies have over Australians now is if we move away from gas towards renewables.”

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