NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has this week announced he plans to block a $3.6 billion gas project at Narrabri. Most noteworthy, he has cited environmental concerns such as water contamination. Industry leaders and manufacturers have reacted angrily though, pointing to job losses and high gas prices in NSW.
What is the Narrabri Gas Project?
The Narrabri gas project is a coal-seam gas development. Oil and gas producer Santos is currently planning the project in the Gunnedah Basin. Santos says it would have the potential to supply half of NSW gas needs by 2022. The current supply difficulties are causing high gas prices in NSW, and many experts believe the project could alleviate that stress and drive prices down. Furthermore, export terminals in Queensland could also receive gas, creating an option for overseas supply.
Manufacturers Slam High Gas Prices in NSW
Orica is one of the state’s highest gas users, and Chief Executive Alberto Calderon has slammed Labor’s stance. He says Orica’s Newcastle ammonia plant is at risk of closure due to high gas prices in NSW.
“The gas problems will be perpetuated by these moratoriums. It is absolutely against every single Australian,” Mr Calderon said.
Why is Labor Blocking the Narrabri Gas Project?
Labor leader Michael Daley has claimed environmental concerns when threatening a moratorium on the project. He also says the current Liberal government has failed to implement the recommendations of the NSW Chief Scientist. Certainly, a key area of concern is a failure to consider insurance products to protect nearby landowners and water from contamination.
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