Santos recently commissioned the Allen Consulting Group to examine the economic impacts of developing coal seam gas operations in North West NSW.
Far from delivering ‘once-in-a-generation economic opportunities’ as claimed by Santos, this analysis of the modelling reveals that the benefits to the local economy will be quite small, in the order of 30 new gas jobs, and that the environmental costs have been ignored.
Due to the fact that the Allen Report does not provide a clear outline of the critical assumptions that they made readers are at a disadvantage in trying to understand how such a small increase in direct employment could create nearly $1 billion in additional economic activity. Similarly, the reader is left to wonder how an investment in coal seam gas creates 570 new public sector jobs as the report's authors provide no discussion of this intriguing conclusion. While the reported findings in the Allen Report raise as many questions as they answer, those interested in the relative costs and benefits of the development should be even more concerned with the results that the report does not present.