Minister Macfarlane’s chest beating will only strengthen opposition against coal seam gas

MEDIA RELEASE – 26 September 2013

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham responded to the Federal Minister for Resources, Ian Macfarlane’s speech at a coal seam gas conference today, by saying his bravado will not earn a social licence for coal seam gas to operate, and called on the government to put the national interest first by adopting a domestic gas reservation policy to ensure Australian gas was available for Australian use before export. 1+Ian+Macfarlane

“Minister Macfarlane’s chest beating will not win the coal seam gas industry community support and is ultimately counter-productive,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Today Macfarlane looked like a foolish dinosaur that wants to push a toxic industry onto communities that have said loud and clear that they do not want it on their land or threatening their water resources.

“We have a phantom gas crisis, created entirely by the gas industry’s rush to export LNG to Asia.  The Abbott government should work with the States to implement an east coast domestic gas reservation policy, to ensure Australian gas is reserved for Australian use, before exports are allowed.

“The rush to export LNG is creating a massive market failure.  Tripling gas demand virtually overnight will mean much of the gas in the east coast network will be vacuumed up to fill export contracts.  A sensible regulatory response to this market failure is a domestic gas reservation policy.

“The Abbott Government should act in the national interest, not in the gas company’s interest, and implement a domestic gas reserve.

“Attacks on opponents of coal seam gas may make the Minister feel like a big man today, but it will do nothing to build community confidence or earn the coal seam gas a social licence tomorrow,” said Mr Buckingham.

Jeremy Buckingham released an opinion piece today on why the gas shortage is entirely artificial.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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