The Queensland Government has released its first gas industry discussion paper, which offers a plan to manage and reform the state’s gas sector.
Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham announced the 38-page Queensland Gas Supply and Demand Action Plan discussion paper, which includes 29 reform ideas to spark debate.
“The gas sector is critical to the Queensland economy for the jobs, revenue, regional growth and significant economic benefits it delivers,” Dr Lynham said.
“Gas helps fuel our homes, businesses and industry and our growing liquefied natural gas exports will increasingly deliver important royalties to fund Budget initiatives.
“Gas has a lower carbon footprint than other fuels and will be important in our transition to renewable energy sources.”
Dr Lynham said that while Queensland had a strong demand and solid foundations for reliable supply for the next 30 years, the state also faced challenges.
“That’s why we are developing a Gas Supply and Demand Action Plan to tackle the challenges and maximise supply, economic and job benefits for Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
“We will deliver an overarching strategy to maximise domestic and industrial supply at affordable prices.”
Dr Lynham said the discussion paper’s 29 recommendations focused on supply and the gas sector’s “social licence”, the community’s general acceptance of the resources sector and its activities.
Some of social licence reforms include a reporting system for sector-wide performance and regulatory compliance, centralised end-to-end management of community enquiries and complaints, more research into community needs and concerns, and improving the provision and clarity of information to communities regarding the gas sector.
Some reforms for increasing gas supply include negotiating an agency memorandum of understanding for a regulatory framework, a basin and sub-basin-wide approach to exploration approvals, and removal of obstacles to the market.
“Building community understanding and confidence in the gas sector and striking the right balance between environmental protection, health and safety and social performance will be critical for its ongoing growth,” Dr Lynham said.
“We encourage all interested parties to get involved and make submissions on the issues outlined in the discussion paper.”
Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 19 December 2016.