NSW ‘dragging its heels’ on coal seam gas activities
THE coal seam gas industry is booming in Queensland as New South Wales continues to lag behind the Sunshine State, new figures have revealed.
Data from the gas industry lobby, collated from internal company information, revealed $60 billion pouring into Queensland through gas resources.
The industry figures show more than 27,000 people are now employed in Queensland on gas projects, with 300 new wells on line in the first quarter of this year.
But in the same period, APPEA external affairs director Michael Bradley said no new wells came on line in NSW.
He said the state continued to import 95% of its natural gas needs and the failure to address the problem could result in higher energy costs.
"New South Wales consumes a quarter of eastern Australia's gas, yet it produces less than one per cent of the supply," he said. "As national demand for cleaner burning fuels continues to rise, NSW faces potential, yet avoidable, supply shortages."
North of the border, negotiations have already resulted in more than 4000 agreements with landholders for gas wells on their properties.
Mr Bradley said it was now widely accepted in regional Queensland the gas industry was bringing "enormous economic benefits", based on "mutual respect and trust".
But he said NSW was languishing amid uncertain regulation and "a looming supply shortfall", despite the fact neither state set aside gas for domestic consumption.
The figures were released as part of the gas industry's national multi-million-dollar campaign to inform Austra- lians of "the escalating risks" that threaten the next wave of the resources boom.