NSW Government moves to unlock gas development
February 9th, 2016
After a week where AGL announced a move away from upstream gas development, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts have both talked up the prospects of coal seam gas development.
According to The Australian newspaper:
“The NSW government will release new areas of the state to gas exploration, with Aboriginal land councils getting priority to claim the leases following the decision of AGL to withdraw from coal-seam gas exploration and production.”
And The Daily Telegraph reports (subscription article) that the Government will relaunch the industry – with priority for new licenses given to companies keeping cheap, locally produced gas in NSW.
Quoting Energy Minister Anthony Roberts, the Tele reports:
“Companies developing gas for NSW will be given priority.
These assets belong to the people of NSW and we’d like them to be used by the people of NSW”
The Minister also detailed an inconvenient truth for anti-industry activists who continually claim that NSW doesn’t need a gas industry because of the ability to source gas from other states, telling the newspaper that the State came close to a supply shortage in 2015 following the diversion of supply to export projects in Queensland.
On that occasion, Ministerial intervention resolved the issue, but next time may be different.
Let’s hope the NSW Government holds the line and enables the development of a well-regulated, safe and sustainable local gas industry.