CSG destroying the joint
A new report by the Australian Industry Group and the Plastics and Chemicals Association has re-ignited the debate over coal seam gas and given new impetus to the Lock the Gate movement.
The report, entitled Large scale export of East Coast Australia natural gas:Unintended consequences has found the boom in gas exports, especially coal seam gas and shale gas from eastern Australia, will have "a very significant negative impact" on jobs and the economy.
This will occur because, as exports increase, the price of gas will be linked to the international LNG market, doubling the cost to Australian manufacturing and increasing householders' electricity bills by 25 per cent, a much greater amount than the carbon tax.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, responded to the report by saying that, as his organisation had been saying for a long time, the coal seam gas industry as it is currently developing is not in the national interest.
"Let's see. The CSG industry will deliver to Australia no economic benefit, high risks of environmental harm and major social division," Mr Hutton said.
"They are so arrogant and so focused on profits at any cost they will not even accept that a relatively small propertion of their gas should be held back from export for domestic use at local prices.
"Why then are governments allowing this rogue industry open slather across the country?"
"Until governments get this, our movement will simply get bigger and more active and we will do the job governments are supposed to do: ensure these developments do not go ahead unless they can be proven safe and in the public interest."