Campaign claims natural gas critical part of Aussie life

A MULTI-million dollar campaign extolling the benefits of Australia's gas industry has been labelled as "desperate" by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association launched the national "Our natural advantage" campaign on Monday with the aim of painting natural gas as a critical part of Australian life.

APPEA external affairs director Michael Bradley said the campaign would focus on "escalating risks that threaten future jobs, investment and the next wave of the resources boom".

He said the campaign would act as a "wake-up call" to politicians and Australian energy consumers by focusing on the consequences if Australia's next wave of gas projects fails to proceed.

"The campaign will send a clear message that saying 'no' to natural gas development is not consequence-free," Mr Bradley said.

"Developing new supplies is absolutely critical if Australia wants to put downward pressure on energy prices, meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring on the next wave of Australia's prosperity.

"More than $150 billion worth of energy resource projects stalled in Australia last year and our country cannot afford to lose the next $150 billion worth of gas projects currently being assessed by potential investors."

But Senator Waters dismissed the campaign as little more than a "pre-election PR blitz" designed to "buy a social licence" for the much-maligned industry.

She said the campaign was proof the industry had reached "new heights of desperation" and predicted it was wasting its money.

"APPEA's campaign won't fool anyone," Senator Waters said.

"Their well-funded spin is no match for the growing community campaign built on the genuine concern of people in rural and regional Australia about the future of their land."

"Industry knows there is still no independent science that supports their claims that coal seam gas is less climate intensive."

APPEA's campaign website can be viewed at http://www.ournaturaladvantage.com.au.



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