Taxpayer subsidies and slashing environmental protection from coal seam gas and fracking projects would be a disaster for regional communities, water supplies, and the livelihoods of farmers, according to Lock the Gate.
Media reporting of a leaked presentation from the Covid Commission Advisory Board to the federal government has highlighted direct subsidies, government underwriting of projects and other expensive ways to prop up the flailing gas industry.
At the same time, there are reports gas-industry cheerleader APPEA is asking for more taxpayer-funded handouts from the government as the companies it represents struggle financially.
“The coal seam gas and fracking industries are losing industries - they’re losing money, losing water, losing out on the opportunity to move to cheap clean renewable energy,” Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Naomi Hogan said.
“Let’s be clear, these tired old polluting fossil fuel industries were bleeding money before Covid-19 hit. They are not a solution to the economic crisis we now face.
“As we’ve seen at the recent Santos Narrabri IPC Public Hearings, farmers and Traditional Owners are standing alongside water experts and engineers to defend precious water resources from polluting gasfields. This is a story repeating itself all over the country where fracking and CSG threaten water, land, and communities.
“It now looks like communities are up against a gas-stacked advisory board to our federal government with vested interests in propping up the failing gas industry.
“If these gas projects and proposed gas pipelines had any economic merit, or stacked up environmentally, they would not be going begging for special treatment and taxpayer’s support.
"They’re using their political influence to squeeze for hand-outs to pollute your kids’ future.
“Our economy of the future could boost fire and drought resilience, and support job intensive industries of all kinds move to cleaner production and manufacturing with solar and green hydrogen."