The curly public relations tails of unconventional gas companies pushing for extensive industrial gasfields in rural NSW and Queensland were set straight by Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett at yesterday's Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association conference in Perth.
Mr Barnett told the Conference he couldn’t sell the east coast gas industry’s story: "You can’t say to people gas production is going up and by the way your supplies are going down and the price is going up." Mr. Barnett’s comments directly refute claims by Federal Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane that there is a shortage of gas on the east coast and that NSW needs to follow Queensland developing coal seam gas.
The Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the Federal and NSW Governments to cease their misrepresentation of the gas supply situation.
Phil Laird, National Coordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance said, "Australia is predicted to become the third largest exporter of LNG. Federal and State governments have mismanaged the strategic gas reserves that our economy relies upon, and now they want landholders to pick up the tab."
"The Industry Minister is demonising the community members that are standing up to protect land and water from a dangerous, polluting industry to cover up Government failure to utilise and reserve gas supply in the public interest."
"The waste water spills, aquifer contamination and depletion of groundwater by coal seam gas companies are already ringing alarm bells in NSW. Instead of ruining the landscape to fill the supply contracts of gas exporting companies, we need a gas reservation policy in Australia that will protect the public interest, keep the price of gas down, and prevent wholesale loss of land and water."
"Mr MacFarlane is out of touch. Farmers and other members of the community in Northern NSW are taking direct action to stop unconventional gas because they have seen through the industry spin, just as Colin Barnett has."
"We need root and branch reform of coal and gas assessment processes in this country to ensure Governments are acting in the public interest, not in the interests of multi-national fossil fuel companies."
 Quoted in the Australian Financial Review. 8 April 2014. “Barnett talks tough on gas projects”