Victorian gas ban will hit businesses and consumers

The Victorian Government’s decision to ban exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in Victoria will be a dead weight on economic growth and energy security in that state, while making the clean energy transition riskier and more expensive.

“To completely restrict access to viable and safe energy sources, especially in a state that is so dependent on manufacturing, will inevitably lead to higher prices for householders, and for Victorian businesses,” Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Victoria wants to deliver a dramatic increase in the State’s renewable energy over the next 9 years and gas-fired electricity generation will be a critical partner in this.

“Australia has been safely developing unconventional gas resources for over 20 years.

“Affordable and reliable gas supply is essential to Australia’s energy security and economic growth. Gas is a major input to large industrial companies which provide jobs to thousands of Australians.

“As recommended by the ACCC, Victoria should be lifting its blanket moratoria on onshore gas development and move to a scientifically-based regulatory framework for case by case assessment of projects.

“Instead we are seeing a knee jerk political reaction that will cost the Victorian economy investment and jobs while making the transition to a lower emission energy system that much harder.

“Increasing Australia’s gas supply is the best way to ensure that Australia can access reliable and competitively priced gas to support the transition to a lower emissions economy.

“Australia’s gas resources are also a vital energy source for many homes along with agricultural, mining and manufacturing businesses.

“To not develop these gas resources is a missed opportunity for sustainable Victorian economic growth.”