APPEA: moratorium can only hamper supply and up gas prices
A decision by the Victorian Shadow Cabinet to extend a moratorium on gas exploration until 2020 would only serve to curb supply, push up gas prices and make manufacturing less competitive, according to APPEA.
“This decision raises serious questions about political leadership and whether or not Victoria is truly a state that welcomes investment, regional economic growth and job creation,” APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly said.
Natural gas supply has become a political football; a race to the bottom that ignores evidence based on science, technology, and world class professional standards, claims Fennelly, adding that while concerns about onshore gas are understandable, it is important that policies aimed at regulating industry recognise the many substantial independent reviews that have found it to be safe.
Onshore gas can be an important driver of jobs and economic development in regional areas, added Fennelly.
“The experience of Queensland also shows that onshore gas can successfully coexist with farming and other land uses,” he said.
Victoria is the largest consumer of natural gas in the nation with 1.8 million households and hundreds of manufacturers reliant on it for their energy supply. But it remains the only mainland state in Australia with a ban on exploration.
The current parliamentary inquiry into onshore gas has heard from a number of manufacturers, businesses, gas industry representatives and councils calling for the ban on exploration to be lifted.