A major Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation has confirmed what the energy industry has long-known - that moratoria and over-regulation of unconventional gas fields are exacerbating uncertainty and increasing prices.
The ACCC East Coast Gas Inquiry identified increased gas exports from Queensland, volatile world oil prices and government regulation as the major disruptive forces in Australia’s east coast gas market.
Australian Energy Council Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said “this report reinforces that Australian governments must reconsider moratoria and other regulatory constraints on unconventional gas developments in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.
“We are now one of the world’s biggest gas suppliers, both to domestic customers and global markets. What should be an economic success story is being compromised by political decisions that do not reflect the significant economic benefits of new gas developments.”
Mr Warren welcomed the ACCC recommendation that state governments assess individual gas supply projects on a case-by-case basis, rather than imposing blanket measures such as moratoria on development.
“An increased supply of gas from an increased range of suppliers would benefit residential and industrial customers, increase competition and enable buyers of gas to negotiate better terms and conditions,” Mr Warren said.
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 22 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
Victoria's decision to block onshore unconventional gas developments, and continue the moratorium on conventional gas development, is short-sighted and ignores the important role gas will play in supporting renewables integration and reducing carbon emissions as the energy sector transforms, the energy industry said today.
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