NSW’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, has welcomed the decision of the NSW Government to move forward with increasing conventional gas exploration in NSW.
“Identifying reserves and then moving towards increasing NSW’s gas production is absolutely critical if we are going to start addressing our State’s gas needs,” said NSW Business Chamber CEO, Stephen Cartwright.
“The NSW Government was right to pause and develop a regulatory framework for the responsible management of the industry , but with affordable gas supply a clear challenge in the near to medium term, this new commitment to exploring opportunities for gas needs to be coupled with a commitment to deliver new supply.
“The NSW Business Chamber and others warned back in 2013 and again in 2015 that there would be supply issues by 2016/2017. That is now happening with businesses facing 50% gas price increases this year.
“Urgent action is needed to increase gas supply to NSW industry and households to minimise price increases, ensure competition among gas suppliers, and most importantly, prevent gas shortages.
“Not doing so would have a devastating effect on business operations, confidence and jobs.
“With the expectation that the Australian Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, will hand down his independent review into the National Electricity Market later this week, energy policy is front of mind for Governments, business and the wider community.
“The NSW Government’s commitment to identifying new opportunities for gas exploration is certainly a step in the right direction but this now needs to be coupled with a joined up approach with the Federal Government on addressing other key challenges in the wider energy market.
“Ensuring that we have reliable and affordable sources of electricity and gas is in everyone’s interest and business will be holding Governments, regulators, wholesalers and retailers to account to make sure that happens,” Mr Cartwright said.