May 28, 2014

Concerns over natural gas supply (Gas prices a threat to industry – AFR May 28) would be alleviated if governments in Victoria and NSW committed to regulations that allowed for the safe production of local gas resources.

Three recent announcements in three different states highlight the disparity of attitude towards securing energy supply.

In Queensland yesterday, the government showed leadership to announce policy that would not relinquish tenure within a four-year time frame by extending it to six years; good news for companies working to explore and develop resources within reasonable timeframes, create jobs and invest in regional communities.

In Victoria, the government announced a freeze on any decisions on approvals for current onshore gas exploration work.

And in NSW, the government recently stopped an approved exploratory drilling program without warning or consultation.

Gas is and will be still available to big users. In fact 13 gas supply contracts have been publicly announced since December 2012.

Market intervention by way of a “domestic gas reservation” policy is no answer when supply can be sourced much closer to where it’s needed most.

This blog post was originally published as a letter to the editor in the Australian Financial Review on 29 May.