Governments told to ‘get out of the way’ of gas development

September 22nd, 2015

Current and former ministers from different sides of politics often don’t see eye to eye, but comments this week from the new Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Josh Frydenberg and former Minister Martin Ferguson show just how important the role of natural gas is seen by policymakers.

In his first comments since taking on the portfolio, Minister Frydenberg told ABC Radio National (listen here – starts at 8:27) that, while he understands community sensitivity around coal seam gas, natural gas development can boost economic growth:

“What we’ve seen for example in the United States is that coal seam gas helped fuel America’s industrial recovery and access to cheap gas is certainly a bonus, and I do think coal seam gas has a role to play”

Meanwhile, former Labor Minister Martin Ferguson has called for regulatory barriers to gas development to be removed in the interests of economic development, telling a conference:

If the market was allowed to operate and if governments got out of the way — and I’m not talking about taking anything away from the most rigorous environmental standards in the world from a regulatory perspective — but if they stop jumping at shadows and facilitate investment, and facilitated the production of onshore gas on the east coast at the moment, then there would have been no requirement for this ACCC inquiry because the market would have sorted it out.”

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