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Reactive leadership on unconventional gas

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) is surprised at the announcement by South Australian Liberal leader, Steven Marshall, for a policy to place a 10-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of unconventional gas in the South East.

While the moratorium is limited to unconventional gas “fracking” in the South East, the decision sends a dangerous message to the oil & gas industry which is inconsistent with the strong safety record and scientific facts of gas exploration and development technology and practices.

Rebecca Knol, CEO of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy said “Political decisions such as this send a worrying precedent to the wider resources sector that regions can be ring-fenced based on little consideration for the factual evidence, and by default pose a sovereign risk.”

The major concern that SACOME has for the South East and the wider South Australian community is the impact energy prices have upon businesses and households. Gas is a crucial part of our energy mix and to ring-fence a known resource of gas can and will lead to higher energy prices in South Australia.

Ms Knol said “This is the key policy that all political parties and governments should be focused on to ensure that all businesses in South Australia can prosper. By locking up resources we limit our ability to provide secure, reliable and affordable energy.”

The South Australian Government has been consistent in its implementation of a sound regulatory framework with experienced regulators, rather than making arbitrary and unscientific political decisions which have the potential to damage the economy and future growth of the State.

Terry Burgess, President of SACOME stated “we have seen what damage can be done to the livelihoods of other primary producers and regional economies with political actions against live cattle exports. Arbitrary banning of commercial fishing to protect recreational fishing tour groups or impositions imposed on animal husbandry could be some of the next political decisions.”

The final report of the inquiry into unconventional gas in the South East by the Natural Resources Committee reaffirmed numerous other parliamentary and independent inquires stating that the use of hydraulic fracturing is safe when managed and regulated according to global industry standards.

The announcement today by the opposition leader is not supported by the recommendations of the Natural Resources Committee.

The Cooper Basin maintains a world class reputation for organic beef, and the South East has developed a clean and green reputation alongside the development of the Katnook gas fields over the past 30 years south of the Coonawarra.

Media contact:
Nigel Long, Director Policy and Community SACOME: 0448 848 038

General media enquiries: Megan Andrews, SACOME: 08 8202 9999 / 0448 848 586