APPEA appeals for gas supply, emissions reductions budget

Image credit: APPEA

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has called on the Federal Government to prioritise building a reliable investment environment in the 2023–24 Budget.

A media release by APPEA stated the focus should be to encourage investment in new gas supply and emissions reduction measures to put sustained downward pressure on gas prices, help deliver energy security, and fast-track the path to net zero.

In particular, APPEA’s 2023-24 Federal Budget submission, released Monday, calls for a national carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) roadmap to provide clear policy direction, identify and progress priority hubs for low emissions projects and position Australia as a regional carbon storage leader.

“Capturing and permanently storing emissions from industrial facilities, including hydrogen production, and directly from the atmosphere makes the most of our world class geological resources and is critical to reaching net zero,” APPEA CEO Samantha McCulloch said.

In order to satisfy demand and lower prices, APPEA also urged the government to support investment in new gas supplies rather than pursue “interventionist measures,” which the business group claimed had the opposite effect.

Key steps include allowing the market work to lower prices, advancing new acreage releases, pressuring New South Wales and Victoria to lift moratoriums that are a factor in the nation’s highest gas prices, and designating new supply and low emissions technology projects as key projects.

“The significant contribution from the sector underpins state and federal investment in roads, schools and hospitals, allowed Australia to weather the economic downturn and will play a role in our economic success for decades to come,” Ms MucCulloch noted.

While removing existing duplication under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, avoiding new duplication, and streamlining approvals, APPEA is also pleading with the government to keep the proposed Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate in line with its pre-election commitments.

“We want to improve environmental standards and build business certainty, avoiding added costs to project approvals and delays at a time when new supply is so important,” McCulloch said.