Federal Government’s gas supply strategy outlined

Malcolm Roberts believes accurate information about the gas industry is key to improve community understanding

Malcolm Roberts believes accurate information about the gas industry is key to improve community understanding

The Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Energy Council will be focusing on accumulating better data on the Australian gas industry and making this information more accessible to the public, according to the December 2015 COAG Energy Council Gas Supply Strategy.

The council, which met on 4 December 2015 believes there are community concerns associated with the development of unconventional gas reservoirs and their impacts on water quality, availability and usage.

COAG will react to these concerns by making the information more readily available to the public and supporting alliances between the community, academia, industry and governments.

“Access to clear and accurate information about the industry is critical to better community understanding of Australia’s gas industry,” APPEA Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts said.

“About 40 per cent of the gas produced on the east coast – and 90 per cent of the gas resources on the east coast – are ‘unconventional’. Unconventional gas is actually a very mainstream source of energy.

“Unfortunately, activists opposed to gas development regularly peddle inaccurate or misleading information. The Unconventional Gas Activities Report will consolidate the vast amount of information already reported publicly by gas producers into an accessible document.”

COAG will also be devoted to leading practice regulatory frameworks that effectively manage the risks and address issues and supporting these practices in industry.

The council states that it is the primary responsibility of industry to invest in exploration and development to supply gas markets – but that industries also have a responsibility to “protect the environment and maximise benefits by eliminating or minimising adverse impacts on landholders and communities.”

There are further plans to work with the energy resource growth centre established under the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative and to boost productivity and competitiveness in the energy resources sector.

Dr Roberts said “It is heartening to see such a strong endorsement by Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers that bringing more gas to market is fundamental ‘to solving our energy challenges.’

“The Council’s focus on increasing supply and the number of suppliers in the energy market is welcome. Ministers rightly agreed that removing obstacles to new supply is fundamental.

“The Council’s stance is especially timely given the final report of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas is due next week”.

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