APPEA urges Victoria to step on the gas

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has called for Victoria to establish a Gas Fields Commission.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s (APPEA) submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into onshore unconventional gas has criticised the government as leaving more than 1.8 million customers exposed to higher gas prices, commenting that Victorian families and businesses are Australia’s number one users of natural gas.

“Inquiry after inquiry has found that a properly regulated natural gas industry is safe and delivers real benefits to regional communities,” APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia Paul Fennelly said.

“Further inaction or a continuation of polices that undermine the development of onshore gas projects, will only impose costs on the community, in jobs, economic growth and higher energy prices.”

As part of its submission, APPEA recommended the establishment of an independent Gas Fields Commission, or similar model, to lead community engagement and education, as well as the immediate removal of moratoriums on onshore gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing.

The Victorian Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee is conducting the inquiry into unconventional gas in the state before the Government makes a decision on the future of the industry.

The inquiry is looking into the potential benefits of unconventional gas as an energy source for the state, the potential risks involved, how the industry can coexist with landholders and how other Australian and international jurisdictions have handled the matter.

An interim report from the committee is due no later than 1 September 2015, with a final report due no later than 1 December 2015.

To view APPEA’s submission to the inquiry, click here.

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