Victorian gas report highlights need for action

The Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s Gas Market Taskforce final report.

Congratulating taskforce chairman, former Federal Minister Peter Reith and his committee, the association acknowledged the report includes important proposals to solve the looming gas crisis faced by eastern Australia.

EUAA chief executive Phil Barresi said if the crisis is not addressed soon, the cost of doing business would be pushed beyond acceptable limits to the detriment of Australia’s economy.

“While we totally support the government’s efforts to ensure that a start to onshore gas production commences only after thorough, fair, agriculturally sensitive and environmentally sustainable processes are put in place, there are many taskforce recommendations that can be rolled out now,” he said.

“The EUAA recognises the looming gas crisis facing our nation in the next two to three years was not Victoria’s creation nor does its resolution fall squarely on the shoulders of the Victorian community. All state and federal ministers must show immediate leadership on this issue,” Mr Barresi said.

With four gas inquiries and a number of conferences and forums regarding Australia’s gas shortage in 2013, the EUAA has acknowledged energy users are facing contractual negotiations and having to make business decisions to remain in or vacate the manufacturing space.

The EUAA’s recently released study Upstream Gas Policies for Australia discusses, what it refers to as, “best-practice solutions that Australian policymakers could emulate without disrupting LNG export dynamics and while factoring in domestic gas users’ needs”.

“We ask our government leaders to support policies to apply a national economic benefits test, as detailed in the EUAA study. Fear mongering that this is a veiled call for domestic reservation demonstrates ignorance and entrenched partisan vested interests,” Mr Barresi said.