The Federal Government will invest $28.7 million in a new East Coast gas development program to target faster development of onshore gas fields to meet Australian demand, while also focusing on a fair return to landholders.
Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan described the program as an investment in the future of manufacturing and the future of Australian jobs.
“It will help secure the domestic gas market against possible supply shortfalls in coming years, and enable large gas intensive consumers to secure supplies on more acceptable commercial terms,” he said.
“The program will expand the approach taken by the South Australian Plan for Accelerating Exploration initiative to other States and the Northern Territory.
“It builds on the strong action the Coalition Government has taken already to ensure Australians have access to more gas at an affordable price. This includes the Gas Supply Strategy and the successful implementation of the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) research model in Queensland and NSW.
“This new program will support projects that provide gas to domestic users and activities that accelerate gas supply from significant resources.
“Funding will be subject to the removal of regulatory restrictions, like moratoria on onshore conventional gas developments.
“Victoria has a blanket ban in place and the Northern Territory has a moratorium in place that are preventing any onshore gas development, despite preliminary assessments that both regions have substantial gas reserves.
“The Australian Government will work co-operatively to encourage exploration and identify new gas supplies, but we expect the States and Territories to show the same commitment to Australia’s domestic gas supply.”
Senator Canavan said the initiative would be complemented by appropriate community and landowner acceptance provisions, the development of transparent land access arrangements and an appropriate communication and education package for landowners, communities and industry.