An energy security summit held in Sydney today will address NSW’s gas affordability, as the federal government remains at odds with the NSW government over gas extraction.
The Australian Financial Review reports that the NSW government’s energy minister Chris Hartcher has refused to relax its restrictions on coal seam gas drilling, telling the paper that there would be “no watering down or dilution” of the controversial 2 km buffer zone on wells.
“That’s not negotiable,” said Hartcher, who will convene today’s summit.
The AFR reports that the federal government’s industry minister Ian Macfarlane, who will also speak at the summit, has urged the NSW government to reconsider its position.
95 per cent of NSW’s gas currently comes from other states.
AGL’s chairman Jeremy Maycock has compared NSW unfavourably to Queensland in terms of its gas developments, and said that NSW’s industry would be stimulated through developing the state’s natural gas supply, citing the current US boom in shale gas.
“Some US factories, which previously moved offshore, are returning home to make the most of the lower energy costs,” he writes in today’s Daily Telegraph.
Maycock estimates that a half of NSW’s gas is used by manufacturers.
“It can create jobs, lead to a cheaper and cleaner source of energy, and generate future tax revenues. NSW shouldn’t miss out,” he said.