27 November 2023
The Labor Government has put Australia’s natural gas market under extreme pressure, with heavy-handed interventions and policies that are harming investment, and suffocating supply.
The Coalition has repeatedly warned the Government of the long-term impacts of their policies over the last 15 months, and have called on the Government to cease their constant interventions, and instead proactively engage with industry to urgently address the looming natural gas shortfalls.
New modelling released today confirms that more natural gas is needed, with demand for Australian gas rising by up to 30 per cent above current levels by 2050.
Despite the clear negative impacts that the process of introducing this code has had on the sector and natural gas supply, the Coalition will not be supporting the Greens’ disallowance motion as industry has already experienced significant uncertainty over the last 15 months and have made very clear their opposition to abolishing an existing framework without considered reform.
Today’s announcement by the Government of further exemptions for gas companies demonstrates that even Labor realises their interventions have been so damaging that they needed to exempt gas companies from their own code in order to guarantee supply.
However, the Coalition does not support the Greens’ attempt to remove these exemptions and abolish the gas industry.
While the Government may be willing to pull the rug out from under industry, compromising investment and natural gas supply, the Coalition will take a more considered approach to genuinely stimulate new natural gas investment without putting the sector in further regulatory uncertainty.
Support for a thriving gas sector should be a bipartisan position, which is why the Coalition has called on the Government to end their constant harmful interventions and instead accept the Coalition’s support for a number of proposed reforms to increase natural gas supply by ensuring timely approval
processes, investment certainty, and allow funding for research and development programs into new natural gas supplies.
If the Government chooses to slap down the Coalition’s offer to support industry to increase the supply of natural gas, then it will be clear that any shortfalls over summer as well as falling exploration and investment levels will be entirely of the Government’s own making.