The Turnbull Government must commit to a gas pipeline in Queensland as part of a long-term package to tackle the looming east coast gas shortage.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland has had the political will to develop its gas reserves to supply domestic users and underpin LNG exports.
“If the Turnbull Government wanted to provide assistance, it should to step up and support gas infrastructure in Queensland,” he said.
“The long-term solution to a gas shortage, to protecting jobs, is to increase the size of the gas supply pie and more pipeline investment to connect supply with users.”
“The Prime Minister has conceded his ‘export ban’ is not a long-term answer.”
The Chief Scientist’s review into the electricity market, commissioned by the Turnbull Government, has already identified the supply constraints, and they include low levels of exploration and restrictions in other states.
“Queensland has been part of the gas solution. Other States, like Mr Turnbull’s home state of New South Wales, have failed to develop their own gas reserves and have relied on Queensland to do the heavy lifting,” he said.
The Palaszczuk Government has already:
- put land to tender for gas production and sale only in Australia, with more planned
- has a gas supply and development action plan underway
- sought advice from small to medium gas explorers on potential incentives.
Dr Lynham said the Turnbull Government must include funds on the table for a gas pipeline to open up gas in the Galilee and Bowen Basins and support for more geoscience work to support exploration.
“Access to new pipelines would make all the difference in opening up new potential gas producing areas like the Bowen and Galilee Basins and connecting with major energy users in centres like Townsville,” he said.
Earlier this month Dr Lynham wrote to Federal Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan seeking:
- a study into infrastructure options and
- guaranteed funding for any viable options – like new pipelines – that will deliver gas to the Australian market.
On radio today, the Prime Minister supported NAIF funding for a Queensland pipeline, but Dr Lynham said Commonwealth investment needed to be direct and substantial in the national interest.