Industry claims CSG restrictions could cost $2 billion

NEW laws restricting the exploitation of coal seam gas in New South Wales within 2km of residential areas could add $2 billion to energy bills by 2020, the Energy Supply Association warned on Tuesday.

The ESAA's chief executive Matthew Warren said the new government restrictions - which do not affect the Northern Rivers region - could also deny millions of dollars in state royalties.

He said the state had abundant gas reserves which should be developed to power industry and households.

While there was currently no domestic reservation of coal seam gas at either a state or federal level, which would set aside gas exploited for on-shore consumption, rather than export.

Mr Warren said the reserves were owned by the people of the state, not a handful of landholders.

He said as such, CSG should be exploited to help deliver services to the majority of people living in NSW.

"Saying no to appropriate developments means the state government will have less money to provide hospitals, schools and transport," he said.

"Households want relief from rising energy bills and the state desperately needs new investment to unlock growth.

"This decision to block CSG development in NSW does everything to make the situation worse."

Mr Warren said the only way to alleviate rising gas prices was to produce more gas, despite such gas not being set aside for domestic consumption, as argued by the Australian Workers Union's Paul Howes, among others.

"If the NSW government does not reassess the long-term implications of this decision, higher energy prices for households and businesses will eventuate," Mr Warren said.

Topics:  coal seam gas environment

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