New leadership for the Victorian Government gives the state an opportunity for a fresh start on energy policy to recognise the important role of natural gas and ease energy security and affordability risks.
Australian Energy Producers Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said recently that new Premier Jacinta Allan should encourage new gas supply investment with a positive and stable regulatory environment.
Ms McCulloch said the state should align itself with the positions of global and domestic energy authorities, other Australian states and the Commonwealth in recognising the importance of gas to net zero.
“The industry congratulates Jacinta Allan on her election to the leadership and looks forward to working with her government,” she said.
“The new Allan Government has the opportunity to end more than a decade of policy uncertainty that has made it difficult for industry to invest in the new gas supply urgently needed for Victorian households and industry.
“Victoria needs new gas supply to avoid shortages in coming years and put downward pressure on prices.
“The state is facing mounting energy challenges with gas supply shortfalls projected by independent market authorities such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
“Yet Victoria outsources its energy security to other states, putting pressure on the east coast energy market.
With over 60 per cent of the state’s electricity generated from higher-emitting brown coal, Ms McCulloch said natural gas would be needed to back up growing renewable generation.
”Natural gas is the reliable partner to renewables in a cleaner electricity grid,” she said.
Ms McCulloch said new onshore gas development could also deliver substantial economic benefits.
“With about 30,000 workers along the supply chain, natural gas already enables about $107 billion of Victorian economic activity annually and new gas supply can attract more of these types of economic benefits,” she said.