Study shows gas market is delivering for all Australians
The Australian government's latest review of the gas market, the 'Domestic Gas Market Study', released 3 January 2014, shows the market is indeed working to supply natural gas for both domestic and export use.
The review also highlights that the continuation of the market's capacity to deliver depends on industry's ability to continue to explore and develop Australia's vast gas resources. It is not a lack of natural gas but onerous regulatory restrictions in some jurisdictions (notably NSW and Victoria) that is impeding gas supply.
APPEA chief executive, David Byers, said: "The study follows a long line of previous reviews and reports, including the comprehensive Australian government 2012 Energy White Paper (itself five years in gestation), that show Australia has more than enough gas to supply both domestic and export markets for decades to come.
"It highlights the duplicative and multiple layers of red and green tape that projects must navigate to unlock the economic benefits from our nation's resources.
"Australia more gas production, not more regulation. With that in mind, APPEA welcomes the study's emphasis on existing gas supply impediments in NSW and Victoria. APPEA looks forward to working further with SCER to allow a more efficient and science-based regime to be developed and implemented in those jurisdictions.
"The study also puts to rest any calls for interventions such as protectionist domestic gas reservation policies, unnecessary national interest tests or similar policies. The study rightly highlights the inefficient and unnecessary nature of such interventions.
"In relation to the recommendation for an industry-led initiative to provide more 'information' to the market, APPEA notes the gas market already has abundant information available to it. The range of gas supply agreements that have been struck over the last 12 months suggests that there is enough information available to allow supply contracts to be concluded between willing buyers and sellers.
"Nevertheless, APPEA will carefully consider this recommendation and look forward to further discussion with the government on how this might work in practice.
"APPEA cautions against recommendations that will add further to the profusion of reviews to which the gas market been subject in recent years. In particular, recommendations for a further review of the competitive nature of the gas market are unnecessary and will lead to further market uncertainty.
"APPEA calls on all parties to recognise the benefits associated with removing impediments to further gas supply, rejecting protectionist and unnecessary interventions, and acknowledging the need for an efficient regulatory regime in all Australian jurisdictions.
"A freely operating and competitive market is the best way to allow gas resources to be developed for the benefit of the owners of that resource – the Australian people.
"The industry will carefully examine all of the recommendations contained in the study, and will seek to engage with the new government on the development of its 'East Coast Gas Strategy to 2020' and new 'Energy White Paper'."
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