22 Dec 2023

Media Release: Queensland gas ban smashes households, jobs, councils and energy security

Queensland’s ban on new gas production in the Lake Eyre Basin will drive up energy prices for homes and businesses, risk east coast blackouts and hit state royalties, council budgets, regional jobs and economies.

Australian Energy Producers today said the decision to rip gas production out of the east coast energy market in coming years showed a reckless disregard for Australia’s energy security amid forecast supply shortfalls.

The ban will risk jobs and tens of millions of dollars of future revenue for regional councils given the industry pays 30 per cent of rates income for Quilpie Shire and 60 per cent for Bulloo Shire.

State coffers could also suffer because royalties from the region help governments fund policies such as cost-of-living relief and new roads, schools and public hospitals.

Australian Energy Producers Queensland Director Keld Knudsen said: “The new Queensland Government’s solution to cost-of-living pressures and energy supply challenges is to do the opposite of what is needed.

“Less gas means higher prices for households and businesses and a higher risk of blackouts.

“Independent market monitors such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) continue to call for new east coast gas supply to avoid shortfalls.

“Queensland’s own Energy and Jobs Plan also says more natural gas generation will be needed to manage the grid and keep prices down as it transitions to lower emissions.”

The industry has invested $2.5 billion in the region over more than half a century. Today’s decision means new fields will not be able to be developed in future to keep production going.

Mr Knudsen said: “Consecutive Queensland governments have collaborated with the gas industry over the past 15 years to create a CSG/LNG industry that is today delivering $1.5 billion a year to the Budget and employing over 30,000 workers.

“But the economic consequences of today’s announcement could be devastating for the southwest in coming years. Councils which rely on the gas industry could see huge parts of their budgets wiped out.”

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