The gas and oil industry have launched an advertising blitz and are calling on the public to sign a petition to lobby the government for better policies.
The multi-million dollar campaign by The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association aims to promote the industry and its economic potential for Australia, calling on better polices from the government to ensure investment potential is not hamstrung.
The ‘Our Natural Advantage’ campaign says “inefficient, duplicative and bureaucratic red tape is putting the industry’s expansion at risk”.
“We have a chance to safely develop the country’s extensive gas reserves to secure our energy future with an abundant, affordable, reliable and cleaner-burning fuel,” the campaign homepage says.
“However, our future economic success is threatened by people who do not care enough about losing Australian jobs and investment.”
The ad campaign comes on the back of warnings by APPEA that $100 billion worth of investments and hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk.
“Australia’s attractiveness as a place to invest is under enormous pressure. Unless the next Australian parliament can work with industry to rectify this, the next generation of Australian LNG projects may never be built,” APPEA chief David Byers said.
However environmentalists have slammed the ad campaign.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters said APPEA's blitz failed to meet the concerns of people opposed to the production of gas through CSG.
"Industry knows there is still no independent science that supports their claims that coal seam gas is less climate intensive, and those claims ignore the fugitive emissions from leaking wells and pipes plus the energy-intensive transport and liquification process," she said.
While Felicity Wishart from the Australian Marine Conservation Society said calls to cut red tape would threaten the environment.
"We're disappointed and alarmed that another section of the mining industry is wanting to see the fast-tracking of developments and the wind-back of environmental protections," she said.
"We're particularly concerned about the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.
"The industry wants to see special treatment for them, they want to minimise their costs and the concern is that that will be at the risk of the reef."