Australian Gas and Pipeline Association is calling on ministers to focus on the critical role that gas plays in the Australian economy.
Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Chief Executive, Cheryl Cartwright, said, “The challenge for ministers – and the nation – is securing sufficient gas supply to ensure its key roles are maintained,” Ms Cartwright said.
APGA said development of the LNG export industry in Queensland and the lack of development of gas reserves in New South Wales and Victoria mean eastern Australia is facing a challenge to its domestic gas supply.
Ms Cartwright said “Changes and improvements to market design and operations are fine but these adjustments don’t address the fundamental question of accessing gas supply,”
“The industry is working closely with policy makers to improve the operation of the domestic gas market, but efficiency gains in the market mean little in the absence of meaningful quantities of gas being made available to Australian gas users.”
The Department of Industry’s Office of the Chief Economist found that in 2014 natural gas supplied a similar amount of useable energy to the economy as electricity did – 799PJ to 791PJ respectively, and 20 per cent of that electricity is generated by natural gas.
“It is clear that the critical role that natural gas plays in Australia’s energy mix can often be understated, ignoring the importance of gas to the economy,” Ms Cartwright said.
The continuing moratoriums on gas exploration and development in NSW and Victoria are major contributors to the gas supply challenges facing the domestic market
Ms Cartwright said “While the Victorian Government lectures the rest of the country about gas transmission pipeline access frameworks, it refuses to allow the development of its own onshore reserves, which would in turn increase gas supply and improve the liquidity in the market. It is simply untenable.”
“The challenge for the nation is securing sufficient gas resources to ensure gas maintains its key role in our energy mix. As well as gas-fired power generation, natural gas is a critical input to some manufacturing, such as fertilisers and plastics. It also provides efficient high-temperature burning for a range of uses such as sterilising hospital products, waste disposal and firing for bricks and other products,” Ms Cartwright said.