Media release: Gas companies looking to smoke billions down desert pipeline

20 August 2020

The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) has slammed a proposal to use taxpayer funds to subsidise a planned billion dollar, 950km long gas pipeline in Central Australia.

The proposed pipeline, put forward by Central Petroleum, Macquarie Mereenie, and Cheung Kong Group is seeking government funding to connect Central Australian gas fields to the South Australian Moomba gas plant. 

The project echoes plans for a pipeline put forward by APA group as part of the tender for the North East Gas Interconnector process established under the Giles CLP Government in 2014.

The winning tenderer, Jemena, was chosen to build a pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa which has resulted in only a very small number of local jobs created for the region,” said ALEC chief executive Jimmy Cocking.

This new proposal will be much more technically challenging than the Northern Gas Pipeline route and may support the development of underground coal gasification in the region which is banned in Queensland. 

This project is a massive waste of taxpayer funds. 

Renewable energy is already the cheaper, more efficient way to power our homes and businesses. Burning up a billion dollars on an expensive pipeline to transport expensive gas to the east coast will only benefit gas executives and investors while cooking our climate and threatening aquifers.

Like many Australians, our community is concerned about the climate and see clean energy as an important driver for our economy now and into the future. The blinkered approach of the unelected National Covid Coordination Commission towards handing out public funds to gas developments is a step backwards for our country.

Territorians are headed to the polls this weekend. While all major parties have committed to cutting emissions, many candidates vying for election ignore the majority of constituents’ opposition to fracking.

This latest pipe-nightmare proposal demonstrates that vested interests are positioning themselves to take advantage of Australian taxpayers as we seek to recover from the COVID19 pandemic. 

Media enquiries: Jimmy Cocking, ALEC CEO director@alec.org.au