'Best response to rising gas prices is more gas'

THE Australian Workers' Union's call for the expansion of the coal seam gas industry has won praise from the body representing the country's oil and gas producers.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive David Beyers said the AWU intervention was a "timely reminder that the best response to rising gas prices is more gas, not more regulation".

But he was critical of the union's call for Australia to focus more on gas retention for domestic use, as opposed to gas exportation.

"Governments should be looking to remove impediments to gas production rather than putting new barriers in place, particularly given the looming energy security threat faced by New South Wales and its industrial base," Mr Beyers said.

"However, the union's demand for a national gas reservation policy is little more than protectionism dressed up as industry-development and a return to the type of thinking Australia rejected in the 1980s.

"Arguments for domestic gas reservation are highly dangerous, short-sighted and self-interested. Gas reservation policies actually impair local gas supply and affordability, rather than improve it."

The AWU announced it will set out on a national campaign between now and the federal election in September to push for CSG expansion and gas retention.

Mr Beyers was also extremely critical of the NSW Government's decision on Tuesday to restrict CSG extraction within 2km of residential area and industry clusters.



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