Qld puts in Budget bid for gas pipelines

national gas rules, APA

The Palaszczuk Government says it has turned up the heat on Canberra for new pipeline funding to bring more Queensland gas to market.

Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has written to his federal counterpart repeating his call in Parliament for the federal government to investigate new gas pipelines from the Galilee and Northern Bowen basins.

Dr Lynham said the Australian Energy Market Operator had also backed new gas infrastructure in its latest Gas Statement of Opportunities report.

“Australia needs new gas, and Queensland needs more pipelines to get that gas to market,” Dr Lynham said.

“I’ve written to Canberra; I’ve made media statements; I’ve spoken in Parliament calling for them to invest in a pipeline.

Related article: AEMO: Further gas investment needed

“I’m trying again, today, ahead of next week’s Budget, but I’m not hopeful.”

In his letter to Federal Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan, Dr Lynham sought support for a range of actions to help address gas shortages and price issues in the eastern Australian gas market.

“It is important that we now look to the infrastructure that could bring more gas to the market,” Dr Lynham said.

“The need for this work to commence is even more urgent today then when I wrote to you two years ago.”

The three key items on Queensland’s list are:

  • a pipeline linking the new Northern Territory to Mount Isa pipeline to the east coast
  • linking that new pipeline to new exploration and development in the Galilee Basin
  • upgrading the pipeline connecting New South Wales and Victoria to bi‑directional capacity, so that gas from Queensland can reach Melbourne.

The ongoing campaign by the Queensland Government comes on top of its actions to boost domestic supply, including releasing more than 25,000 square kilometres of land for gas exploration since early 2017, almost a third of it for the domestic market only.

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