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Balanced approach to Victorian gas is needed

Imminent decisions on Victoria's energy future should be bipartisan and meet the needs of industry and the community, Australian Industry Group Victorian Head Tim Piper said today.

"Conventional gas development was frozen in Victoria as collateral damage from the ban on unconventional gas. Now the conventional freeze is up for reconsideration, and the State Opposition is offering bipartisan support to allow it to lapse," Mr Piper said.

"The Government will also set Victoria's medium-term emissions targets and strategies in coming months. This is an excellent opportunity to give confidence to industry and the community that our energy needs will be met while also putting the State firmly on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

"It is not yet clear how much conventionally accessible gas there may be onshore in Victoria. But allowing well-regulated commercial development of this resource will help to maintain supply for industrial feedstock, heat and power while our economy transitions to new technologies.

"It is doubtful that new gas resources will dramatically impact prices, which now largely reflect international and LNG export pressures. Safeguards to ensure adequate supply to energy users within Australia are important. But there is no doubt that our energy transition will be unnecessarily painful and chaotic if it is driven by insufficient supply rather than shifts in demand.

"We welcome the move today by the Victorian Opposition to support an end to the conventional gas moratorium. And we are hopeful that beneath the occasionally heated rhetoric of politics, there is real scope for a bipartisan and durable approach to Victoria's urgent task: to rebuild an energy advantage in a net zero emissions economy," Mr Piper said .

Media enquiries: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301