Senate Inquiry recognises the importance of the natural gas industry

The interim report of the Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining released last night confirms that the inquiry did not identify any factual or scientific evidence to support the fear campaign peddled by industry opponents.

A compelling body of evidence from leading scientific institutions and independent experts shows that a properly regulated unconventional gas industry does not threaten the environment or public health.

Recommendations made by the inquiry’s Chair, Senator Glenn Lazarus, are not supported by the evidence presented to the inquiry. Nor are they supported by the majority of his committee members.

The following extracts are from the report.

Additional comments by Opposition Senators (Joseph Ludwig and Anne McEwen)

“The committee also heard anecdotal evidence regarding the environmental impact of unconventional gas mining activity, but heard little factual or scientific evidence to support the claims.” (page 79)

“Opposition senators also highlight that regular compensation payments which have been paid to landholders with unconventional gas mining on their land have allowed farmers to supplement their incomes and help to weather difficult conditions, including drought.” (page 80)

“Opposition senators recognise the significant opportunities which are afforded by unconventional gas mining regarding employment and regional development.” (page 81)

Additional comments by Government Senators (David Johnston and Joanna Lindgren)

“Gas both conventional and unconventional is a vital source of energy to Australia and to the world particularly our northern neighbours. Australia’s future energy security and its economic growth will be driven through diversity of supply with unconventional gas playing an increasingly vital role in our future energy mix. Australia is currently the world’s third largest, and by 2020 will be the world’s largest, exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).” (page 85)

“Managed well, unconventional gas has an exciting future providing a significant contribution to Australia’s Gross National Product through vital energy supply and many meaningful and well paid jobs.” (page 86)