Australian gas industry applauds offshore regulation consultation process

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The Australian gas industry has welcomed the Australian Government’s offshore regulation consultation paper, recognising it as a crucial step towards establishing regulations that secure economic and energy stability for Australia and its valued international partners.

Australian Energy Producers expressed its endorsement, asserting that the release of the consultation paper marks the initiation of a crucial process to address the longstanding uncertainty and complexity within the national offshore regulatory approvals system.

The consultation paper emphasises the urgency of resolving issues that hinder critical gas supply, aligning with repeated forecasts of potential gas shortages by Australian energy market authorities.

Samantha McCulloch, chief executive of Australian Energy Producers, stressed the imperative need for prompt reforms to tackle nearly two years of regulatory uncertainty jeopardizing Australia’s energy security and international trade partnerships.

“Timely and robust environmental approvals are critical for all energy projects to support Australia’s energy security and the net zero transformation,” McCulloch stated.

She underscored that regulations should provide industry clarity and certainty while ensuring comprehensive and meaningful consultation with Traditional Owners and stakeholders.

“We have been calling for the federal government to fast-track a solution to this broken offshore environmental approval system for months,” McCulloch noted.

“The paper is a welcome step in the right direction at a time when Australian households and businesses require new gas supply to be developed to ensure reliable and affordable energy,” she added.

McCulloch highlighted the potential risk to tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits and jobs generated by Australia’s gas exports.

She emphasised the necessity for the right policy and regulatory frameworks to support major investments and sustain the industry’s contribution to Australia and the region.

“Reliable, affordable and lower-carbon energy, such as gas, has never been more important to Australia in these times of geopolitical upheaval and cost of living pressures,” McCulloch added.

“We look forward to working with the government to progress a solution that provides the clarity and certainty required for industry and stakeholders,” she concluded.