Regulatory war via red tape on resources

Article courtesy of the West Australian.

Shadow resources minister Susan McDonald has accused the Federal Government of a “regulatory war” on oil and gas as red tape drags on more than $20 billion of investment.

Senator McDonald’s sensational salvo came just days after WA energy experts warned project delays would add to a looming local gas shortage, push up prices and risk trouble on the power grid.

Writing in The West Australian on Wednesday, the Queensland Liberal-National senator claimed the Government was sacrificing the oil and gas industry — the State’s second-biggest exporter — to win green votes in Sydney.

Market intervention, the emissions safeguard and industrial relations shake-ups were parts of the offensive on oil and gas, Senator McDonald said.

The Federal Government scored a win this week when laws to enable offshore carbon storage were approved by the Senate. The Coalition had threatened to block the Bills, drawing fire from the industry.

Senator McDonald took aim at government funding of the Environmental Defender’s Office, which has led the legal charge to overturn major project approvals.

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King in October acknowledged the need to clear up the consultation rules.