Andrews’ own $40 million gas study confirms Labor’s policies cost money and kill jobs

The most recent report of the Victorian Gas Program (VGP) has confirmed Victorians what they already know. Daniel Andrews and Labor’s policies are forcing families to pay more for gas, as well as killing jobs.

Labor’s decision to extend its senseless moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration has hurt hard working Victorians for no real economic or environmental benefit whatsoever.

The review into Victoria’s gas industry has taken over 3 years and cost over $40 million.

What do we have for all that time and money? The most recent report found: 

  1. The Victorian gas industry was environmentally safe. The report stated:

[T]he presence of petroleum wells has had a negligible environmental impact in the onshore Otway Basin. (13)

              Gippsland Basin gas production sites are similarly safe environmentally. (p 17)

              The report further found:

The program’s environmental studies showed that developing these gas resources to secure local gas supply would not compromise the state’s groundwater supplies or agricultural sector. If these resources were developed, it would support approximately two million Victorians customers who currently depend on gas for heating, cooking and industrial uses. It would have a negligible impact on Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions. (p 5)

In many ways, Victorian gas production would actually drive down emissions. Gas can often be substituted for higher emitting coal energy sources and domestic production would mean fewer emissions in transporting gas from interstate. The report said:

  1. Restarting conventional onshore gas exploration and production will lead to up to discovery of a further 830 petajoules of gas, beyond current known reserves. That is around three years’ worth of Victoria’s annual consumption.  (p 5)
  1. Lifting Labor’s senseless moratorium would lead to approximately $300 million annually for regional economies and create 6,400 new jobs. (p 5)

On the findings of a report by Labor’s own handpicked panel, the Victorian gas industry is environmentally safe.

Furthermore, lifting Daniel Andrews and Labor’s moratorium would increase gas supply, driving down prices, which have increased 125 percent from December 2014 to December 2019.

Finally, getting the Victorian gas industry back to work would give $300 million a year to regional communities struggling to recover from Daniel Andrews’ COVID-19 recession and create 6,400 new jobs, largely in regional areas. (p 5) 

For all these reasons, the Andrews Labor Government must immediately lift its senseless moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration.

Not doing so costs $300 million a year and deprives regional economies of 6,400 jobs, on the Government’s own figures. (p 5)

In the current environment, to delay is unforgivable.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Resources, Ryan Smith:

“The Victorian Liberal Nationals call on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately lift its gas moratorium – bringing back to life $300 million of economic activity annually and 6,400 jobs.

“Victorians are struggling to pay the bills during Daniel Andrews’ COVID-19 recession, they need cheap gas now, not in six months’ time.” 

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