The Palaszczuk Government has called for the Commonwealth to back a package of initiatives, including new gas pipelines, to tackle the looming east coast gas shortage.

Natural Resources and Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today put a package offer to his Federal counterpart Senator Matt Canavan, offering Queensland’s gas resources for Federal support, including funds for new gas pipelines.

“Urgent action is required to increase domestic gas supply to protect industry and to secure jobs,” Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland is already ahead of the pace with the measures we have underway, including land on offer where the gas will be for sale in Australia only.

“We are looking at further and larger land releases in the Surat Basin with the same Australian market conditions.

“There is a lot more that can be done, and we believe those actions should be funded by the Commonwealth in the national interest.”

 Dr Lynham has sought an urgent meeting with Senator Canavan to discuss the Queensland proposals, including:

  • a jointly funded study into infrastructure options and
  • guaranteed funding, possibly from the North Australia Infrastructure Facility, for any viable options – like new pipelines –  that will deliver gas to the Australian market. 

“Access to new pipelines would make all the difference in opening up new potential gas producing areas like the Bowen and Galilee Basins,” he said.

Dr Lynham said addressing groundwater management would also support further gas production, because a key concern of landholders was the impact of gas extraction on groundwater.

“Queensland has managed groundwater concerns with an Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment and the development of a basin-wide cumulative groundwater model and monitoring program,” he said.

“Developing more basin-wide water models would generate the landholder confidence we need to widen gas production into other prospective areas of the state.”

Dr Lynham also called for the Commonwealth to continue funding the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI), which subsidises the rehabilitation of water-wasting uncontrolled flowing bores.

To date, GABSI and its predecessor programs saved around 200 972 megalitres per annumfrom the Great Artesian Basin, but the program is due to end in mid-2017.

“Ending GABSI sends a poor message to landholders and community at a time when Governments are actively seeking to accelerate gas development that will require the use of water resources,” Dr Lynham said.

Tenders close next week (20 April) for the pilot of land released with the Australia-only sale condition.

Source Queensland Government Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Anthony Lynham