"The decision to support developing conventional gas resources shows the Coalition is listening to Victoria’s manufacturers and other gas users.
"Industry competitiveness is under threat and all sides of politics need to confront the challenge. Gas prices are rising rapidly and contributing to much of the rise in electricity prices.
"The biggest driver of current high gas prices is that supply is falling short of demand. It makes sense to allow all gas resources to be developed, including unconventional gas, subject to firm and science-based regulation to ensure health, agriculture and the environment are protected.
"Opening the door to conventional gas development onshore, as the Coalition propose, is a sensible step, though we would like all sides of politics to go further. While we don’t yet know how big the conventional gas resource is, we need to pursue all the options.
"Giving landowners and occupiers a right to refuse gas development on their land is a useful part of the important task of ensuring the community can support gas production.
"By contrast, the proposed ban on inter-state supply of onshore gas does not look like an effective or desirable solution, even though its intent is understandable. Gas is a challenge across Eastern Australia and all jurisdictions should work together on solutions for the whole market.
"The Victorian Government should take the opportunity to reassess its own position on conventional gas onshore in light of the serious challenges to gas price and supply, and the close connection with electricity price increases," Mr Piper said.
Further Comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301
Media Enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347