Ad hoc approach to CSG is not the answer to gas price hikes

MEDIA RELEASE – 22 August 2016

The Greens NSW energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the government was heading in the wrong direction by moving to a ‘case by case’ assessment of new coal seam gas licences in NSW, saying that the industry does not have a social licence and that any additional gas will do little now that export LNG has linked domestic gas prices to the international market.

“The Greens have been warning for years that export LNG will have an adverse impact on the domestic gas market and the need to consider a domestic gas reserve, or some other national interest test, to protect domestic consumers and manufacturers from the impact of gas price hikes,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Successive state and federal governments have had their head in the sand on this issue and are now adopting an approach that will do nothing to solve the problem and everything to anger farmers and regional communities.

“By building LNG export terminals on the east coast, we have connected domestic gas prices to the global market and created price parity.  The export terminals will suck up any additional available gas, but it will have a negligible impact on the global price and thus the domestic price.

“We are all now dancing to the tune of the big international oil companies that have financed these export terminals.  Most gas exporting countries have some kind of national interest test or restrictions to ensure the domestic market is not adversely impacted.  However, Australian governments have utterly failed to implement such policies.

“While more transparency through gas trading hubs is a welcome development, the only way to seriously protect domestic interests, particularly jobs in manufacturing processes that depend on gas, is through regulation of the east coast gas market.”

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