Economy will suffer if green tape strangles LNG: industry

GLADSTONE could lose its stronghold on Queensland's LNG industry if green tape puts a stop to a fourth plant on Curtis Island, the gas industry has claimed.

Protest groups are calling a new pro-gas campaign misleading and insulting, but the Australia Petroleum Production and Exploration Association says without new gas projects the Australian economy - and Gladstone's future - would suffer.

The APPEA campaign comes on the back of industrial companies spending millions on improving their carbon emissions to produce a squeaky clean image.

While Gladstone waits for movement on Arrow Energy's proposed LNG project, with its Environmental Impact Statement currently under consideration with the Co-ordinator General, APPEA external affairs director Michael Bradley said resource companies were finding Australia an expensive place to do business.

"It's important that Gladstone continues to be at the centre of Queensland's successful economic story," he said.

"That's why we want to send the message that saying 'no' to natural gas development is not without consequence."

QGC managing director Derek Fisher backed the campaign, telling its partners the Queensland Curtis LNG project, among others, had huge benefits for the Gladstone community and the country.

But Greens Senator Larissa Waters said APPEA's pre-election PR blitz was no match for the genuine concern farmers had for 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, and those claims ignore the fugitive emissions from leaking wells and pipes plus the energy-intensive transport and liquification process," she said.

Meanwhile, local industry is doing its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help the country make a transition to a low carbon economy.

ClimateWorks has been tracking the progress of key sectors of the economy against its Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia, which targets a 25% emissions reduction target by 2020, with an update later this week.

A new furnace has helped reduce BSL's greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 tonnes annually - the equivalent of removing 6000 cars from the road each year.

BSL general manager Joe Rea said the $330million carbon bake furnace, commissioned in 2012, had increased the smelter's operating efficiency and significantly improved environmental performance.

"Replacing two original furnaces at the smelter, the new carbon bake furnace adopts a smarter technology and 'cleaner' burn cycle while using less gas," he said.



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