Minister Warns of Gas Shortage in New South Wales
Australia’s New South Wales government has warned of a looming gas shortage in the state that will see bills potentially triple in the next five years. Minister for Energy and Resources, Chris Hartcher, told ABC News that the state is heading towards a crisis.
The mister was quoted as saying the gas crisis needs to be addressed. The Minister said it's been assumed we'd be able to access our own natural gas.
"We've got an estimated 250 years' supply running from north Queensland way down to south of Wollongong in a vast methane gas pool, natural gas. We need to actually now start to allow the industry to move ahead so that it can access that vast reservoir and supply us with the gas that we're gonna need, " he said.
Mr Hartcher said we've previously obtained our gas supplies from coal, the Bass Strait and the Cooper Basin, but as well as the contracts running out the supplies themselves are dwindling.
"We do have this massive resource of coal seam gas and that's what we need to address and we need to address it urgently," ABC reported the minster as saying.
He said the government aims to have the gas pipeline developed into Newcastle. "If we don't do that then simply it will all go to Gladstone as it gets developed and will all be exported overseas," he added.
As for safety concerns over coal seam gas, Hartcher said the government won't allow industry to proceed in any area where its activities pose a realistic threat to water, agriculture or the environment.
He says NSW can learn from the experiences and mistakes made with coal seam gas both in Queensland and overseas, ABC News said.