Coal seam gas royalty review welcome

MEDIA RELEASE  – 6 January 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham welcomed news that the O’Farrell Government is reviewing the coal seam gas royalty regime and said NSW royalties on the industry should, at the very least, match Queensland’s 10% royalty rate from day one.

Currently in NSW there is a royalty holiday for the first 5 years of production.  In the 6th year a royalty rate of 6% applies, rising 1% per year to 10% from the 10th year onwards.

“The Greens are very pleased to hear the government is reviewing coal seam gas royalties.  The government should provide details about who is conducting the review and when it is likely to be completed,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The current arrangements are a slap in the face to the NSW community.  Coal seam gas companies like Santos are proposing to put at risk our water, agriculture and the environment, but will not pay one red cent in royalties for the first five years of production.”

“Certainly the gas royalty rate in NSW should at least match Queensland’s 10%.

“Regardless of the royalty rate, the coal seam gas industry has not yet earned a social licence.  The risks posed to water, the environment, agriculture and climate are too great,” he said.

The legislation relating to the royalty holiday was originally introduced into Parliament by the Greiner Government on 30 April 1991.  Minerals Minister Neil Pickard’s speech at the time thanked APPEA:

“This bill has the support of the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association.
I thank the association for its significant contribution in preparing this legislation”

Jeremy Buckingham said: “It looks like this exemption was written by industry, for industry.  There is no reason why NSW taxpayers should subsidise the coal seam gas industry while it seeks to roll out across farms and sensitive environments in large tracts of the state.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916



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