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Queensland hits out at gas reservation proposal

Australian state criticises federal government's proposed 'meddling' in gas market

The Queensland government has hit out at the Australian federal government’s proposal to introduce a national gas reservation policy.

The federal government announced the plan on Tuesday as it looks to ensure domestic supply with the country now the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Queensland is home to three large LNG export projects which are all based on Curtis Island, near Gladstone, and the state government hit out at the federal proposal, stating that Queensland should be part of any discussions about major market disruptions.

“We are deeply concerned that this meddling, which is not relevant to Queensland, may impact on our multi-billion dollar gas industry that Labor governments have built here from scratch,” Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said following the federal government’s announcement.

Lynham added that Queensland had been doing “the heavy lifting on gas policy and supply”, with the state suppling roughly 25% of the east coast gas market.

He also noted that the Queensland government had already been setting aside land for gas for domestic buyers and manufacturers.

“More gas is the key to meeting demand, and that’s what our policies are driving,” Lynmham said.

“Our domestic supply policy allows for more gas to be brought to market, and more gas from more fields is the only long-term way to deal with supply issue and ultimately with price. The LNP federal government has never consulted Queensland on its domestic gas security mechanism and we remain in the dark on whatever is planned next.”

While the federal government has touted a proposed national gas reservation policy, it also stated that any such policy would be dependent on state and territory governments removing “unwarranted restrictions” on gas developments.

New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania all currently have blanket bans on fracking, while Victoria also currently has a ban on onshore conventional exploration.

Currently Western Australia, which is also the state that exports the most LNG, is the only Australian state or territory with a gas reservation policy which requires operators to direct 15% of production to the domestic market.

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