The Australian chemistry industry has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Gas Plan by NSW Deputy Premier, The Hon Troy Grant MP and Minister for Resources and Energy, The Hon Anthony Roberts MP.
“We welcome the NSW Government’s leadership on this critical issue. The Plan across five priority areas is the foundation of a structured and considered approach to increase supply, and to ensure that there is strategic and responsible management of the State’s natural endowment,” said Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) CEO Samantha Read.
“The Australian chemistry industry supports the sound and responsible application of science to underpin gas strategy and set an appropriate regulatory framework. This includes building greater certainty and rigour into the NSW exploration licence approval process.”
Ms Read said the announcement recognised the tremendous value of gas to the NSW economy and to the standard of living of all Australians.
“The Australian chemistry industry contributes significant value-add to 10% of all Australian domestic gas, using it as an essential ingredient in the chemistry required to make a whole range of critical products, such as fertiliser and silage wrap for our crops; innovative packaging to keep our food fresher for longer; and cleaning products for maintaining health and hygiene in our homes and hospitals.”
“People know that natural gas is a clean source of energy, but there is less awareness of its unique properties as a non-substitutable feedstock for Australia’s $40bn chemistry industry. Milk is a basic commodity that Australians rely on being safely delivered every day. The bottle to ship this milk cannot be produced without the natural gas that makes the polyethylene, which is a lightweight and easily recyclable material. Australian farmers, customers and families all depend on this value chain, in which natural gas plays an essential role,” Ms Read said.
A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics reveals the potential for severe side effects resulting from gas supply tightness are cost increases. The Report projects $118 billion in lost output by 2021 to the Australian manufacturing sector alone, based on the current gas price projections and other factors.
“It is critical that Australia realises its energy advantage. There is significant opportunity for an advanced manufacturing sector, enabled by Australian gas and chemistry, to meet unprecedented global and domestic growth,” said Ms Read.
“This announcement is a significant advancement in NSW gas policy. It will also be important for the Federal, State and Territory Governments to resolve the broader market reform priorities including market transparency and competitiveness.”
According to her, NSW’s commitment to support the NT gas pipeline through the Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Premier The Hon Mike Baird MP and NT Chief Minister The Hon Adam Giles MLA, was also encouraging.
“Domestic gas supply is a national issue that requires coordinated leadership from State, Territory and Federal Governments. We look forward to continuing to work with all jurisdictions to address the urgent challenges in gas market transformation,” Ms Read said.