Productivity Commission’s gas report shows hit to land values from CSG

MEDIA RELEASE – 31 March 2015

The Greens NSW coal seam gas (CSG) spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said the Productivity Commission’s report released today, Examining Barriers to More Efficient Gas Markets, showed that there would be significant hits to land values if CSG proceeds in NSW reflecting the risk that close proximity to CSG exploration and production poses to land, water and public health.

In criticising the current compensation regime for coal seam gas, the Productivity Commission report acknowledged that one area where landholders will be impacted but which is not currently compensated for is the hit to land values that CSG causes.  Page 10 of the report states:

“An objective and direct measure of the economic cost of gas activities to the landholder, encompassing the different types of damage, is the decline in the market value of the landholder’s property (land and any improvements). This market value reflects the highest value uses of the land with and without the gas activities.

However, in most jurisdictions the decline in the market value of the landholder’s property is not recognised explicitly in legislation as an overarching principle for setting compensation.”

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said:

“CSG is a risky business, and this latest report backs up concerns across NSW that there will be significant hits to people’s property values if the Baird Government green lights toxic gasfields on their farm or in their region”

“The people of NSW sent a clear message to the Government in the recent NSW election, they do not and will not accept the risks to land, water, climate and communities that coal seam gas poses”, Mr Buckingham said

The report also backed up the conclusions of the recent NSW Parliament inquiry in to the supply and cost of gas, acknowledging that the move to export LNG in Queensland is “creating significant disruption for market participants and will lead to material costs for some gas users, including through higher prices” (p. 2) and agreeing that new gas supplies from the development of coal seam gas in NSW will have no significant impact on the domestic price, saying:

“There is no assurance that any additional gas would be channelled to domestic users rather than export markets.” (p. 9)

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said:

“Not only is CSG dangerous and unwanted, it is also unnecessary and economically disastrous for Australia.

“The move to sell our gas as fast as possible to the highest overseas bidder and damn the consequences to domestic industry and consumers is completely irresponsible.

“Report after report has acknowledged that CSG production in NSW will have no meaningful impact on the domestic price of gas once our market is connected to the international market, and it is past time that the Baird Government ditched this toxic industry,” said Mr Buckingham.

Contact: Jack Gough  – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

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