Resources minister Martin Ferguson says protest groups need to stop trying to "demonise" the oil and gas sector.
According to The Australian Ferguson told the annual APPEA conference protestors reaped the benefit of the booming resources sector but unfairly opposed it.
"There are some non-government organisations in the Australian community who will continue to demonise fossil fuels," he said.
"And the benefits go to those NGOs. Where else do they get their tax-free status? Who pays for it?"
Ferguson said gas was clean energy and the challenge of climate change meant adopting cleaner energy sources.
He also said protestors disrupting the expansion of coal seam gas on the east coast were hurting local communities.
Ferguson said rural towns were getting the positive "knock-on effect" from developing industry.
The Australian Conservation Foundation told The Australian there were "wide ranging and legitimate concerns" about Australia's oil and gas industry.
It said the mining sector received $2 billion in fuel subsidies and other charitable grants from the Government that were funded by taxpayers.