Prohibiting gas exploration and development in parts of Queensland’s Cooper Basin would destroy jobs and investment and drive up energy costs for households and businesses.
APPEA Queensland Director Rhys Turner said the gas industry was deeply concerned at reports the Queensland Government was planning to introduce new regulations that would effectively lock the industry out of a region where it had safely operated for decades.
Mr Turner said the government had failed to consult with industry despite its so-called Pristine Rivers regulations appearing to be in an advanced state of planning.
“These new regulations appear to be an attempt to appease foreign-funded activist groups that oppose traditional energy sources and have been targeting government MPs in metropolitan seats,” Mr Turner said.
“This defies common sense and threatens to inflict on Queensland the sort of energy market chaos that has so far been confined to southern states.
“The Cooper Basin has been safely producing natural gas for 40 years. It accounted for 14.5 per cent of Queensland’s gas supply last year.
“The industry has strong support in the South West and Central West regions where it supports more than 2100 jobs and generated more than $400 million worth of economic activity last year.
“Right now, Queensland gas companies are looking to invest new projects in the Cooper Basin worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These projects, and the jobs they would support, are now at risk.
“Restricting new gas supply would also drive up energy costs for the 885,000 Queensland households and businesses that rely on bottled and piped gas.”
Mr Turner said the Government needed to push back against activist campaigns that sought to undermine Queensland’s economy and investment reputation.
“Voters will not be impressed when they realise that jobs are being sacrificed and power bills increased just to appease activists who want to shut the gas industry down,” he said.