Encouraging developments on the east coast
August 28th, 2014
A comprehensive regulatory and operating framework that encourages the responsible development of natural gas resources is a surefire way to build confidence in the industry and the community.
The Queensland Government has released a new Framework for the next generation of onshore oil and natural gas in Queensland, with the stated aim being to “Give industry the certainty it needs to develop Queensland’s deep gas and oil resources, and also give the community confidence that it can be done in an environmentally responsible way”
The Framework contains a dozen recommendations covering everything from tenure security to environmental impact statement guidelines, underground water management and community consultation.
In launching the Framework, State Resources Minister Andrew Cripps recognised the potential benefits that a deep oil and gas industry could deliver, saying “Queensland is potentially rich in deep gas and oil resources and tapping these would build on the State Government’s commitment to growing the resources sector and creating more jobs for families in the regions”
South of the border, the Deputy Secretary of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment has laid out the fact-based case for the development of gas projects.
Responding to unsubstantiated claims that the State will not face gas shortages, Kylie Hargreaves told a local newspaper that “If we want to put downward pressure on energy prices and secure supply, the answer is the growth of viable local gas projects. It’s that simple.”
Ms Hargreaves went on to say “renewable energy does not address the situation where gas is not just an energy source but a key ingredient in industrial processes, such as fertiliser, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fabrics and is also used to manufacture a wide range of industrial products such as ammonia, methanol, butane, ethane, propane and acetic acid.”
Meanwhile, in Victoria, the City of Greater Geelong has called for submissions as it works to determine a position in relation to onshore gas exploration and development within its municipal area.
This is a sensible move – and responding to alarmist claims about supposed industry impacts with fact based information will be important as the Council considers its position. This consultation comes at an interesting time, with debate over development of CSG and shale resources expected to ramp up ahead of the State election.
As governments and local authorities continue to develop policy positions and undertake consultation, anti-industry activists continue with stunts, blockades, protests and unfounded claims – seemingly their only tactics against responsible development of our natural resources.