Concerns about CSG addressed: APPEA

NATURAL gas is one of the most important energy sources known to man.

It warms our homes, helps cook our meals and powers our industries.

Coal seam gas is natural gas from "coal", sitting about 400-1000 metres underground.

It's been safely sourced in both Queensland and NSW for decades, yet its reputation continues to be tarnished by an anti-gas movement that claims to represent farming interests yet cloaks a greater motive.

As an industry we recognise people have genuine concerns about the way natural gas is produced and industry will continue to work with landholders through open and fact-based discussion.

More than 4300 land access agreements have been signed between companies and landholders and farmers are making an additional source of income not dependent on the weather.

In that state more than $60 billion worth of coal seam gas to LNG projects are under way, employing about 30,000 people and delivering more than $110 million to community projects.

The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal this week highlighted a potential gas price increase of up to 20%. This could add up to a further $200 to the cost of your annual gas bill.

The best way to put downward pressure on rising prices is to produce more gas.

Enormous economic opportunity via job creation and revitalisation of country towns and securing of the state's gas supply awaits those willing to get on with the job.

► Paul Fennelly is the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief operating officer for Eastern Australia

Topics:  coal seam gas environment mining