Coal seam gas has no social licence in NSW

MEDIA RELEASE – 26 September 2017

NSW Greens resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham rebuffed Prime Minister Turnbull’s call for the Narrabri coal seam gas project to be approved, saying that the industry did not have a social licence and even if it was approved it would not solve a gas crisis created by policy failure to protect the domestic gas market from unregulated exports.

“For years now the citizens of NSW have made it clear that coal seam gas does not have a social licence to operate and political parties of all persuasions have listened to this message to varying degrees,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“This is a crisis forged by greedy multinational oil and gas companies, with successive Labor and Liberal-National governments failing to properly regulate gas exports despite repeated warnings from the manufacturing industry, unions and the Greens.

“Even if the Narrabri gas project was approved tomorrow, it will face fierce opposition and direct action from concerned farmers and others, it will be several years before the gas will hit the market, and the relatively small amount of gas will have no impact on the international gas price which is now dominating the domestic market.

“Why do Australian politicians cower before the idea of sovereign risk?  This is a construct of the big corporations and their lobbyists with the result that multinationals feel they can walk all over Australian interests with virtual impunity.

“The concept of sovereign risk should not stop governments acting in the national interest, especially when the risk to the manufacturing sector impacts on far more jobs than are in LNG exports.

“The pursuit of coal seam gas for export as LNG has been a monumental policy failure and has had catastrophic consequences for the environment and our economy.  Now households and businesses are paying the price with rising energy costs and job losses in other sectors of the economy,” he said.

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