MEDIA RELEASE: Morrison Government’s National Gas Infrastructure Plan uses taxpayer funds to hurtle the Territory towards climate collapse
The Northern Territory’s peak environment body, the Environment Centre NT, has today slammed Minister Angus Taylor’s announcement of the “2021 National Gas Infrastructure Plan“.
The Plan releases a framework for accelerating gas development in Australia and identifies the NT’s Beetaloo Basin as a key basin for investment by the Commonwealth Government. This will include expenditure of public money on infrastructure, including pipelines, to link the Beetaloo Basin to the east coast gas market, with gas predicted to flow as early as 2025.
The Environment Centre NT’s Co-Director Kirsty Howey said:
“The Morrison Government’s announcement to turbo-charge development of the Beetaloo Basin using taxpayer money is catastrophic for the Northern Territory.
“The International Energy Agency has made it clear that we can exploit no new gas fields if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
“Fracking the Beetaloo Basin will speed up the impacts of climate change, is opposed by Traditional Owners and the local community, and is unviable without huge subsidies.
“Only last month, energy analyst firm Reputex released a report finding that the costs of offsetting the emissions of Beetaloo fracking through the purchase of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) could be up to $22 billion, making the industry completely unviable economically.
“Australians are fed up with public money being used to subsidise the fossil fuel industry, which exposes Australia to significant risk, not just from climate change but the economic liability of these gas fields becoming stranded assets, which the Reputex Report found could be likely.
“Only a few weeks ago the Environment Centre NT was in the Federal Court challenging the Federal Government’s grant of public funds to Imperial Oil and Gas to speed up fracking in the Beetaloo Basin, including on the basis that the risks of climate change were not considered.
“With today’s announcement we see the Morrison Government throwing more good money after bad. The Government is pledging yet more taxpayer support for an industry that can’t stand on its own two feet.
“And it’s clear from the Plan that Beetaloo gas will be going to the east cost, or offshore. There’s nothing in this Plan for Territorians but catastrophic climate change.”