Industry Search Australia Trusted by 600,000+ buyers

CSG inquiry 'way forward' for further development in Vic

30 January, 2015

A parliamentary inquiry into the viability of CSG exploration in Victoria, along with the development of infrastructure, has been welcomed by industry.

Although the Victorian government announced an extension on the current moratorium in place for CSG exploration pending the inquiry, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) released a statement saying it was a way forward for potential development and anticipated the release of the terms of reference. MCA also looked forward to participation in the reviews process.

"The industry encourages an objective and timely inquiry process and report within a reasonable period to ensure that it does not become a de facto and indefinite extension of the moratorium," Gavin Lind, MCA Acting Chief Executive Director said.

"In addition, the industry suggests that the inquiry takes into consideration sound science-based research and that the recommendations are properly balanced against the legitimate interests of the people of Victoria, the economy, local and regional communities, landowners and the environment."

Lind said industry looked forward to an eventual lifting of the moratorium, which has been in place since 2012.

"This inquiry will hopefully provide clarity to a willing industry on whether onshore natural gas can also contribute to the gas supply for Victorian … manufacturers and businesses," Lind said.

Severe side effects from gas supply tightness

Samantha Read, CEO of Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA), said she hoped any further inquiry would be "swift and efficient, building on the significant body of work already completed".

"We are pleased that the Government is committed to taking a science-based approach," Read said.

"There is significant opportunity for an advanced manufacturing sector, enabled by Australian gas and chemistry, to meet unprecedented global and domestic growth.

"The Australian chemistry industry is the nation's second largest manufacturing sector employing more than 60,000 workers nationally."

Read said a recent report by Deloite Access Economics revealed the potential for severe side effects resulting from gas supply tightness.

"The Report projects $118bn in lost output by 2021 to the Australian manufacturing sector alone, based on the current gas price projections and other factors," she said.

"It is critical that we realise our energy advantage."