Gas exploration has today been given the go ahead in state waters near Portland and Port Campbell, with Resources Minister Jaclyn Symes finally granting permits to Beach Energy and Bridgeport Energy.
Minister Symes proudly touted this exploration could be worth up to $85 million. It’s about time the Andrews Labor Government woke up to the benefits of this safe and reliable energy source.
Labor has kept a moratorium in place on conventional onshore gas exploration for the past five years, recently extending that moratorium for another 12 months. The consequence of that policy has been for gas supply to fall and prices to rise.
According to the independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’s most recent Victorian Gas Report, total available Victorian gas production will fall from 343 petajoules (PJ) in 2019 to 201PJ in 2024 (p 5).
That’s an enormous drop of 142PJ or 41.4 per cent.
The Minister also noted that gas is now part of Victorian Labor’s strategy to lower emissions, saying:
Gas will continue to play an important role in supporting Victoria’s transition to a cleaner energy future, in line with the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
The Minister’s words ignore the damage Labor’s moratorium has had on Victorian gas users, and attempts to re-write history by pretending the government is a supporter of the industry.
Daniel Andrews must immediately end the moratorium on conventional gas exploration and development, so Victorians can reap the benefits of more supply, lower prices and lower emissions.
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Resources, Ryan Smith:
“Gas exploration creates economic activity and jobs, as well as helping lower emissions and it’s a shame the Andrews Labor Government is dragging its heels when it comes to opening our natural resources.
“Victoria’s gas reserves must be opened now, not in a year, to take pressure off Victorian households and business whose struggle with ever-rising bills has been made worse during COVID-19.”