COAG agree on need for gas

December 16th, 2016

The country currently stands at a crossroad. While some states (namely Victoria) oppose an industry which offers real benefits to communities, others promote, foster and prosper from it.

At a recent COAG Energy Council meeting Ministers agreed that:

“[We] recognised gas is a critical transition fuel and therefore the need for more gas and gas suppliers.”

We couldn’t agree more. Which is what makes decisions like Victoria’s to place a moratorium on onshore oil and gas operations so dumb-founding.

We have the science, technology and people to ensure this industry can develop safely while providing an essential service to the country.

The oil and gas industry has stood up against its opposition and been proven safe time after time, through multiple independent parliamentary inquires and scientific reviews.

But the more basic reality is that we can’t just turn our reliance on natural gas off.

As former Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson outlined recently, the more renewables that are integrated into the network, the greater the reliance on natural gas becomes.

“When the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, another source of power is needed,” said Hon. Ferguson.

“Without gas, renewables cannot provide energy security, nor can they deliver on their potential for emissions reduction. Gas will remain essential for many years to come.”

Aside from power generation, products derived from natural gas and oil play a vital role in our domestic manufacturing needs. Almost one-third of the gas consumed in Australia is used by manufacturers. Manufacturing in Australia is a $100 billion industry directly employing 890,000 people.

Natural gas isn’t just some out-dated fuel we can ‘switch-off’. It’s an essential driving force behind our economy. It’s the reason we can have a hot shower, cook a family meal and manufacture products like plastic.

Perhaps it’s time to face the facts and choose the path that leads towards a future that embraces, not demonises, natural gas.

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