APPEA: Horse-Trading Brings Uncertainty When Economy Can Least Afford It (Australia)

APPEA: Horse-Trading Brings Uncertainty When Economy Can Least Afford It

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) says regulatory decisions driven by pure politics deliver bad policy, harm the economy, and set a dangerous precedent for industry in Australia.

At a time of increasing economic uncertainty, the decision of independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor, to make his support for the Government’s MRRT contingent upon a federal takeover of the states’ regulation of the resources sector only creates more uncertainty.

APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer – Eastern Australia, Rick Wilkinson, said: “Australia cannot afford such a tail-wags-dog policy, which will clearly have serious economic and energy security consequences.

It will hurt jobs, small business, and investor confidence for only local political advantage.

Mr Windsor is demanding changes to the regulation of the gas industry which overturn good practice and ignores the fact that current legislation already provides state and federal oversight.

Already one third of Eastern Australia’s natural gas comes from coal seam gas which has been developed safely and responsibly under this oversight.

He also ignores that CSG in Australia is more heavily regulated than the uranium industry and that Queensland’s three LNG projects (worth $46 billion) required environmental impact statements that took more than two years to complete, that each ran beyond 10,000 pages, and had 1,500 environmental conditions attached to their approval. They also gauged the potential impact of proposed gas projects on aquifers, native vegetation, and native species.

If Mr Windsor was serious about the Great Artesian Basin then he would be calling for a complete review, including agriculture, which accounts for 83% of water taken from the Great Artesian Basin.

Rather than demanding policy that further erodes Australia’s reputation as an investment destination, Mr Windsor would be better served supporting the Commonwealth’s work with state and territory ministers through the Standing Council on Energy and Resources to help develop a harmonised approach to regulation and issues relating to co-existence, best practice standards, land access and water management.”


Source: APPEA, November 2, 2011