NSW gas inquiry questions impact of CSG on rising prices

The committee, Chaired by Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak, with The Greens’ Jeremy Buckingham as Deputy Chair, suggests that development of the state’s natural gas resources will have little impact on rising prices caused by increased gas exports on the east coast.

The Supply and cost of gas and liquid fuels in NSW report, tabled by the committee, calls for a halt on CSG developments until the recommendations of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, contained in the 2014 Independent Review of Coal Seam Gas Activities in NSW are implemented in full.

A nation-wide gas reservation policy is also recommended to assist in containing gas prices and to ensure security of supply.

“This is a pressing issue for the people of NSW,” Mr Borsak said.

“It is imperative that adequate measures are taken to ensure there is security of gas supplies at an affordable price for NSW households and businesses.”

Industry rejects findings

Meanwhile, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has rejected the committee’s recommendations, commenting NSW possesses enough gas resources to meet current demand for around 500 years.

APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia Paul Fennelly said, “A do-nothing approach that calls on other states to fix NSW’s gas supply woes is clearly not a sustainable or sensible option.

“There are Australian companies operating in NSW, informed by science and the latest technological innovations, standing ready, willing and able to develop gas resources for the state’s 1.3 million gas users.

“That’s the answer to securing the state’s gas supply – not politically motivated recommendations released prior to a state election.”

NSW currently imports around 95 per cent of its gas supply from other states, with a moratorium on CSG development currently in place.

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