INCREASING green tape for coal seam gas and large coal mining developments will cost jobs and drive up energy bills, the gas industry claims.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association warned Environment Minister Tony Burke’s decision to make water a trigger for federal intervention on CSG approvals would “undermine the development of energy projects”.
APPEA chief executive David Byers said the changes would “bury the gas industry in regulation” without any environmental; benefits.
“Eastern Australia needs more gas, not more regulation,” Mr Byers said.
“The coal seam gas industry provides a third of eastern Australia’s natural gas, and is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country due to existing state government processes. Today’s intervention by the Federal Government adds duplication and inefficiency at a time when clarity and investor certainty are what is required.”
Not for the first time Mr Byers said Queensland’s regulatory system showed what could be achieved with more simpler regulations.
He said “ad hoc and arbitrary” regulation south of the border was putting the brake on the industry.
“Queensland’s coal seam gas industry now employs more than 27,000 people, has signed 3500 landholder agreements, and has so far contributed more than $100 million to community projects and causes,” he said.
“But in NSW … government regulation continues to send the signal that the state is closed for business, our industry employs only 332 people, has signed just 281 agreements with landholders, and has contributed $662,000 to community projects.