THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says southern states must follow Queensland’s lead to develop their own gas resources in order to bolster supply and lower prices.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said today’s ACCC Gas Inquiry Interim Report reaffirmed what’s clear from the evidence – that the best way to bring down prices is to bring more gas to market.
“Queensland has been safely developing its coal seam gas industry for 20years,” Mr Macfarlane said. “The fact that we have developed our resources has meant not only gas for us here in Queensland, but it’s also been the supply that’s kept the lights and the heaters on in New South Wales and Victoria.
“Queensland is our nation’s energy super power, exporting coal-fired electricity and gas to southern states.
“Our gas industry has also paid almost $400 million to local landholders, who have benefited directly from co-existence with the gas industry, which is particularly important as landholders battle with the current severe drought.
“Queensland is the case study that works, and other states ignore it at their peril.
“New South Wales and Victoria can’t expect Queensland to continue to supply, and subsidise, their own gas users when each of those states has either a handbrake or a full-blown ban on any gas development.”
The ACCC notes that a looming gas supply crunch has eased and that prices have come down from highs of more than $20 a gigajoule, but that prices remain in the $8-$11 a gigajoule range.
“It’s unrealistic to expect prices to fall below the international price and they certainly can’t fall below the cost of production. But as Queensland shows, developing a local gas industry has the triple benefit of increasing supply, reducing costs and adding value to local communities,” Mr Macfarlane said.