Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment are being risked by a small group of protesters who “deliberately misinform” the public, BG Group Australia chairman Catherine Tanna says.
In an address to business leaders in Brisbane Tanna said protesters were stifling investment and Australia was lacking political leadership.
She also said many criticisms of the industry were “highly questionable and propagated without challenge to the point where activism was determining public policy”.
Using amendments to the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act as an example, Tanna said changes to the act made only two industries – coal and gas – subject to new laws when they had a relatively small impact on the nation's water.
Tanna said coal and gas used less than four per cent of Australia's water while agriculture used more than 50 per cent, and the proposed changes were introduced to appease activists rather than solve a problem.
According to Adelaide Now Tanna said BG subsidiary QGC had created 9,000 jobs at the Curtis Island LNG Project, and two other gas projects in Queensland were creating similar benefits.
She said when the business was fully operational it would contribute more than $1 billion a year to state and federal revenues, the equivalent of annual funding for 20 primary schools or 1,000 hospital beds.
“That is a measure of what is at stake when we have decision-making on this basis; when green activists and their supporters deliberately misinform; and when motives and charges go unquestioned and unchallenged,” she said.