Coal seam gas, Features, News, Policy

One Nation seeks to ban drilling in the Cooper Basin

One Nation has released a statement that it wants to ban gas development in the Cooper Basin until it is proven that fraccing does no damage to the Great Artesian Basin which, if implemented, would see an increase in gas prices in Queensland.

In late September 2017, One Nation announced its policy to hold an ­inquiry into CSG and impose a moratorium on any extension of its across the Channel Country in southwest Queensland.

Gas production from the Cooper Basin is equivalent to 14 per cent of Queensland demand and four per cent of east coast demand. Ethane produced in the Cooper Basin supplies Qenos’s manufacturing plant in Port Botany where it is used to produce Australian stretch wrapping, food packaging, water tanks, wheelie bins, and the lining in milk and juice cartons.

APPEA Director, Rhys Turner, has described the statement by One Nation as an act of economic vandalism that will expose Queenslanders to the risk of higher energy prices and blackouts.

“The Cooper Basin in south-west Queensland accounts for 14.5 per cent of Queensland’s natural gas supply and – most importantly – natural gas has been produced in the Cooper for 40 years without harming the environment or damaging the Great Artesian Basin,” Mr Turner said.

“One Nation doesn’t understand that natural gas is an essential source of energy for manufacturers and for electricity generation during times of peak demand. When workers and families get home during a hot Queensland summer and turn on the air conditioner they are using electricity produced from natural gas.

“When South Australia experienced multiple blackouts and the highest energy prices in Australia, a key part of their response was bringing on more gas-fired electricity, but One Nation wants to take Queensland in the other direction. At a time when we need more energy – and more affordable energy – One Nation wants to turn the lights out in Queensland.”

Mr Turner said the petroleum industry’s footprint in the Cooper Basin represented a fraction of one per cent of the land area.

“The Queensland and Australian Governments have in place several layers of regulation designed to protect environmental values while also enabling essential energy resources to be developed. These regulations have been developed and refined over many years and are achieving their intent,” Mr Turner said.

“Companies operating in the Cooper have the support of landholders, communities, and indigenous groups.”

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