Monday, 28 January 2013

Looking for excuses and apportioning blame in the CSG war

This is Lindsay Partridge on the ABC’s PM program on 21 January 2013:
MARTIN CUDDIHY: The company's managing director is Lindsay Partridge.

He says Brickworks gas costs have recently doubled, and the company is struggling to secure long-term gas contracts because local producers prefer to export to Asia.

LINDSAY PARTRIDGE: The prices they're receiving is the price which countries, mainly in Asia, that have very limited local gas, are prepared to pay for the gas. So effectively, what we're seeing in Australia is the prices within Australia move to the price that those Asian countries are prepared to pay which at the moment is about $12 a gigajoule which is what we're paying in Perth and Brisbane, but may well go as far as $15 a gigajoule going forward.
On ABC NEWS online the same day he went further:
Brickworks' managing director, Lindsay Partridge, says Australian gas producers are getting top dollar from Asia, so they would rather export gas than supply the domestic market.
Mr Partridge says the process to approve new Coal Seam Gas operations is too slow and the Federal Government needs to intervene…..
He says protests against coal seam gas appear to have slowed the development of more wells, and limited new gas supply.
"The anti-coal seam gas lobby has stopped or delayed the timely production of gas, as well as a very complicated process where many of these wells have to go through both state and federal approval process," Mr Partridge said.
"So we have the Government saying, 'oh we don't want to get involved in the gas market', but they already are. They're part of the process which is stopping the timely supply of gas coming on line."
However, by 22 January The Daily Examiner had dropped any reference by Mr. Partridge to every reason he gave for the gas price rise except the one involving protestors:
Lindsay Partridge, managing director of manufacturing company Brickworks, made headlines on the weekend when he suggested the "anti-coal seam gas" movement was responsible for slowing development at a time when the state was tipped for a severe gas shortage.
He told the ABC that protestors had stopped or delayed "the timely production of gas" and the only solution was for the State and Federal Government's to "accelerate" new gas fields and uncomplicated the approval process.
Leaving it to a spokesperson from CSGFree Northern Rivers to mention price increases flowing from the export drive.

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