Victoria’s Energy Statement released on Monday highlights the importance of natural gas to the state’s 1.8 million households and manufacturing businesses yet makes no mention of lifting current moratoriums on gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing, APPEA said in a statement.
APPEA Chief Operating Officer Paul Fennelly said: “Moratoriums on gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing technologies, both processes which have been safely undertaken in Australia for decades, continue to put Victorian energy security on the backburner.
“Today’s statement reflects the urgency of the issue at hand but offers no solution for households, businesses and a sector willing to invest in jobs and gas production.
“It is now imperative the Victorian Government look to the vast body of science and industry best practice that already underpins successful onshore gas development in other parts of Australia and overseas.”
The Victorian Government’s formal dismissal of gas reservation calls, described as “not an appropriate response to rising wholesale gas prices”, is a welcome move.
Fennelly said: “Only new supplies, not intervention, can put downward pressure on prices and drive sustainable employment within the manufacturing sector.
“The industry remains transparent with vast amounts of information available via bodies such as the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Energy Market Commission, as well as via a range of analysts.
“The 19 major domestic supply contracts or other commercial arrangements negotiated since the last Federal Government White Paper was released in November 2012 are testament to the ability of buyers and sellers to reach an outcome.”