July 1, 2021

Media release – Lifting Victorian gas moratorium a good start

The voice of the Australian oil and gas industry said today’s planned and scheduled lifting on the restrictions on onshore gas development will mean Victoria may once again become an energy powerhouse.

APPEA Victorian Director Ashley Wells said the original ban on a proven, safe and highly regulated industry didn’t make sense and meant that Victorians have had to rely on other states to solve its gas supply issues.

“Victoria has abundant local onshore resources but for years has rather imported gas from other states. Incredibly, it has even considered importing it from overseas with the planned import terminal,” Mr Wells said.

“The cheapest gas available to Victorian homes and businesses is the gas they are standing on and lifting of the moratorium is a good first step to getting on and developing it.

“Now that the ban is lifted, the industry can resume the exploration and development of local gas resources – and it is a given that we must at all times meet the highest environmental and operating standards at all times.

“The lifting of the moratorium should also give comfort that Victoria’s manufacturing base, and the thousands of local jobs it generates, because all Victorians should be entitled to benefit from viable supplies of locally produced gas for years to come.”

Mr Wells said despite having plenty of gas, the moratorium meant Victoria needed to import gas from Queensland costing families and businesses.

“It has been well-documented by the ACCC that currently transporting natural gas from Queensland down to southern customers already adds an extra $2-$4 in costs – representing a 20-40% increase in the wholesale gas price,” he said.

“Nearly two million Victorian homes are connected to natural gas, with more than 31,000kms of gas main pipelines. More Victorians rely on gas supply than in any other state.

“It fires up the barbie in the summer, is the source of delicious meals on the cooktop and provides heating and warmth during the winter months. It also powers many of our manufacturing industries.

“New gas supply is essential not only to meet our existing needs, but to support Victoria’s transition to a renewable energy future. As we have seen in South Australia, Britain, the US and elsewhere, natural gas plays a critical role in complementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

“Lowering carbon emissions is also critical and together natural gas and renewables have a major role to play in reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of the coal-dependent Victorian energy system.

“This is clearly supported by modelling undertaken for the Department of Environment, Land and Planning in 2017 which under every scenario modelled for the Department, sees natural gas having a bigger role to play in delivering energy stability in Victoria out to 2050.”

Read the media release