CSG stirs mixed messages


The New South Wales Resources Minister told a conference his State wants to jump on the back of Queensland’s coal seam gas boom.

But outside, those opposed to mining CSG staged a protest as delegates arrived.

Jon Gray reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Outside police monitored a group of vocal protestors from environmental group Lock the Gate Alliance.

Drew Hutton, Lock The Gate Alliance: “And what we are going to find, we fear, is there is going to be catastrophe after catastrophe in the years and decades ahead of us.”

While the protesters outside said coal seam gas destroys lives and the economy, the message coming from inside was far different.

Hosted by APPEA, the organisation representing the oil and gas industry, the conference focused on the latest information about coal seam gas mining and production.

Ray Brown, Mayor Western Downs Regional Council: ”This is an enormous era in front of us, we are on the cusp of an energy sector and an energy revolution. Not just for western downs or the serat basin, but for our state and nation.”

But interstate government delegates admit the public image of CSG is poor with mixed messages.

Chris Hartcher MP, NSW Resources and Energy Minister: “But that failure to fill the void, fill the space, was quickly seized upon by certain sections of the community who have engaged in irresponsible debate.”

He blamed environment groups for distorting the facts and spreading their message on social media.

Chris Hartcher MP, NSW Resources and Energy Minister: “Unless the truth is properly presented then there will still be a large degree of irrational and uniformed debate.”

Academics have weighed in to the debate, suggesting the positives far outweigh the negatives.

The conference winds up tomorrow.

Jon Gray, QUT News.