Protest groups are blowing hot air in trying to tie ALP policy to their claims that the natural gas industry does not deliver significant social and economic benefits to Australia.
Energy Resource Information Centre Director Steve Wright said such claims were utter nonsense and at odds with ALP policy settings at Federal and State level over decades.
“The ALP move is about protecting jobs – and the best way to do that is to bring on more natural gas supply, not halt it altogether as the activists want,” Mr Wright said.
“Australian and international companies have invested $200 billion in the development of the LNG export industry in recent years, employing tens of thousands of people in WA and Queensland, lifting Queensland’s economy dramatically and revitalising previously declining regional areas. Export income is ballooning and the royalty and tax flows to Government in the years ahead will be enormous.”
“This is on top of massive investments by Australian companies like Santos in domestic gas projects in SA, NT and NSW,” Mr Wright said.
“These projects fire our industry, underpinning hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing and delivering gas to 5 million businesses and customers around the country.
“Yet groups like the Australia Institute and Lock The Gate try to pretend there have been no economic benefits from natural gas development over the decades. On the contrary, they talk about “social and economic damage” the industry is supposedly causing.
“This kind of talk is plain rubbish. Natural gas has been part of life in Australia for 100 years – there has been no environmental calamity and no harm to health of humans or animals.”
“The enviro-activists need to talk to the people in the areas where these projects are being delivered to see they are strongly supported by businesses and communities, such as in western Queensland, where 5000 farmers happily host gas wells on their properties while continuing to run their crop and livestock businesses.”
Mr Wright said activist attempts to try to link the ALP policy decision to supposed environmental issues was utter nonsense.
“It is about protecting jobs in manufacturing – jobs that will disappear entirely if the Greens and protest groups get their way and fossil fuel production is halted,” he said.