Mount Isa City Council has welcomed a major Geoscience Australia and CSIRO study kicking off early this year to assess gas reserves in the ‘Isa Superbasin’.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch said the announcement from Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matthew Canavan was great news for the region.
“With support from the Mount Isa City Council and the Barkly Regional Council in the Northern Territory, construction of an $800 million northern gas pipeline linking Tenant Creek and Mount Isa is already under way,” Cr McCulloch said.
“Securing additional gas supplies to feed in to that pipeline and the East Coast gas market will be game changing in many ways.”
She said Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO were due to brief the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa Cross Border Commission- comprising the Mount Isa and Barkly councils – in Canberra in March.
The federal government said the 56,000sq km Isa Superbasin was selected for its world-class petroleum source rocks, demonstrated shale gas flows and its proximity to pipeline infrastructure.
These made it an excellent candidate to deliver new gas supplies to the East Coast Gas Market in the next five to 10 years.
The $30.4 million Geological and Bioregional Assessments Program was announced in Budget 2017-18.
The Isa Superbasin is the second region to be assessed as a potential source of gas by the Turnbull Government – the Cooper Basin in Queensland and South Australia having already been selected. The third and final region will be announced in coming months.
The studies will be conducted by Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO, supported by the Bureau of Meteorology and managed by the Department of the Environment and Energy.
Senator Canavan said increasing access to gas supplies would help create Australian jobs and support investment in regional Australia.
“It is vital that we unlock our gas resources and bring more gas to market. By taking steps to unlock our gas reserves, we will help put downward pressure on gas prices,” he said.
“This investment will make use of the best science to map and access our gas supplies to keep Australian industry running.”