Victorian gas users and landowners were let down today after Labor failed to support the Liberal Nationals’ amendments to the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill.
These amendments were aimed to get the industry back on its feet as quickly as possible and to show respect to landowners by recognising that they have ultimate rights over their own land.
By voting against these amendments Labor has shown that they have no regard for rapidly escalating gas prices, which have been an ever increasing burden on Victorian businesses and households.
According to the independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’s most recent Victorian Gas Report, total available Victorian gas production will fall from 343 petajoules (PJ) in 2019 to 201PJ in 2024 (p 5).
That is an enormous drop of 142PJ or 41.4%.
This sharp decrease in gas production makes it crystal clear the gas price catastrophe over which Daniel Andrews’ has presided will only get worse, with a moratorium sunset date that is now legislated to remain in place for another 12 months.
Labor has also shown contempt for landowners by refusing to acknowledge the rights they have on their own land.
Labor has chosen to greedily take the entire amount of royalties due for gas production, rather than providing a share to the landowners under whose ground gas will be taken.
Basic economics tells us when you decrease supply so drastically, costs will keep spiralling out of control.
For this reason, Daniel Andrews and Labor should have supported the push to remove their ban on conventional onshore gas exploration as soon as possible. Not in June 2021, which is now written into law.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables, Ryan Smith:
“Labor is needlessly dragging their feet on getting more gas into the market.
"Labor's inaction will mean higher gas prices for Victorians.”