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Industry and government must grasp opportunity: APGA

15 March 2017 , , , , ,

Major players in the gas industry should seize the opportunity of a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and federal ministers tomorrow to offer concrete policy suggestions to the government.

Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said the government must also grasp the current opportunity to grapple with the complex issues in the energy sector and develop a comprehensive policy that delivers energy security and outlines the pathway to lower carbon emissions.

“For too long we have looked narrowly at the different parts of the sector and suggested there was either a gas problem or an electricity problem and tried to solve those problems,” said Ms Cartwright.

“We must change the way we consider our energy future.

Natural gas delivers as much energy to Australia’s households and industry as does electricity, and gas is used to generate a part of that electricity as well. We must look at the current situation as an energy problem and develop comprehensive solutions.

“Paving the way to energy security while achieving our low emissions targets is not going to be easy, but the federal government has an unprecedented opportunity now to get that process under way.”

The meeting between the Prime Minister and the nation’s largest gas producers offered a chance for that part of the energy industry to outline some possible ways forward.

“The gas industry representatives can do what pipeline industry did,” said Ms Cartwright.

“Recently, one sector of that supply chain, gas transmission pipelines, was put under the magnifying glass of the ACCC, the AEMC and a process undertaken by independent reviewer Michael Vertigan.

“That produced a high level of stakeholder consultation and industry involvement in finding solutions to issues related to a small part of energy supply.

“Undertaking a similar process examining the entire energy supply chain, from production to generation to supply and market operation and involving industry in finding solutions would enable sensible policy decisions to be implemented to guarantee energy security while emissions are reduced.”

APGA also welcomed South Australia’s support for gas in its energy plan issued today.

“SA’s plan to build a new gas-fired power plant to increase the State’s energy security is a sensible decision,” Ms Cartwright said.

“It’s now up to the industry to ensure SA can source the required gas supply.”