One in two Australians want tougher CSG regulation

THE environmental movement and resources industries are again butting heads, after new research was released on Tuesday showing one in two Australians wanted more regulation of coal seam gas.

A research paper by The Australia Institute cited a survey that found some 71% of respondents thought the Federal Government should control CSG regulation, not states.

That research also argued against gas industry claims that increased export of LNG will lower gas prices.

Report author Matt Grudnoff said industry claims on a range of issues did not "stand up to scrutiny", arguing claims of creating "a lot of jobs" were also false.

"The gas industry likes to make inflated claims about its economic importance yet it arrogantly tries to avoid answering community concerns," Mr Grudnoff said.

"When there is so much at stake environmentally, the public has every right to demand greater transparency from the industry and greater interest from the federal government."

But the release of the research came as the resources industry, through the Queensland Resources Council and Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, hit back at its opponents.

The gas lobby, APPEA, argued that Deloitte Access Economics estimated that during the CSG investment phase, national employment peaked at about 103,000 full time jobs in 2012.

A statement from the gas industry said those jobs included work "within the oil and gas industry itself", but did not take into account that such figures also include other jobs created in the same period.

The industry pointed to the United States experience of a boom in gas extraction, which was "not driven by government interventions", despite gas extracted in the US being used largely for domestic consumption, rather than export.

On Tuesday, Queensland's peak mining lobby, QRC chief Michael Roche, also hit out a campaign against coal and CSG in Queensland, saying there was "no science" to back up the campaign.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is disappointing to see WWF in particular becoming more Greenpeace-like by the day," Mr Roche said.

Mr Roche said while the WWF had previously played "a constructive role" in promoting improved land management, it was "disappointing" to see the group "becoming more Greenpeace-like by the day".

However, WWF Great Barrier Reef campaigner Richard Leck said two letters signed by more hundreds of reputable scientists had voiced the scientific communities concerns about extra pressure on an already-declining reef.

"As Mr Roche points out, other industries that work in or alongside the Reef's waters are transforming the way they do business and making their industries more environmentally sustainable," Mr Leck said.

"WWF believes it is time the resources sector embarked on a similar transformation and phased out old, outdated practices like dumping millions of cubic metres of dredge spoil in the waters of the reef World Heritage Area."