Australia in a gas bind: APGA
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) welcomes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s initiative to bring the major gas companies to Canberra to deal with the issue of the imbalance in Australia’s gas supply and demand.
Australia has sufficient reserves of natural gas to supply both the domestic and export markets, according to APGA Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright.
“The shouting match between interest groups will not solve the dilemma of the current domestic supply-demand imbalance,” said Ms Cartwright.
“We must stop the blame shifting. It’s time for action.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the industry to come to the government with solutions.
“As the transmission pipeline industry has found, the best policy outcomes are achieved when industry works closely with policy-makers and focusses on achieving the best outcome, even when that requires concessions from industry.
“The aim of next week’s meeting should be a credible policy outcome to address the looming gas shortage and help to provide long-term gas contracts for domestic customers, and for commercial and industrial users.
“Australian manufacturers must accept the new gas market paradigm – higher prices.
“Access to gas requiring unconventional extraction in the States where there are moratoriums is part of the answer to increasing supply.
“However, this is unlikely to address the problem immediately, so other solutions must also be brought into play.
“Without sensible and productive collaboration between the gas industry and policy makers, Australia could see the Government forced to introduce a reservation policy or a national interest test, which could increase sovereign risk and discourage investment.
“APGA does not support government intervention such as gas reservation, but we do encourage sensible discussion about what is possible, what can be achieved to secure Australia’s gas supply for the domestic market.”