PERTH (miningweekly.com) – During the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, Australian state and territory governments agreed to work with the federal government to implement its A$26-million gas acceleration programme (GAP) to fast-track new gas to the east coast market.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said that the programme was part of the Australian government’s investment of over A$90-million focused on developing new gas supplies to ensure gas security, reliability and affordability.
“Through the GAP we’re looking to encourage investment in projects that can bring new gas to the east coast market in the next three years,” Canavan said.
GAP will offer up to A$6-million for each new gas project with substantiated prospects of producing gas into markets within three years. These could include the application of new technologies or techniques to boost productivity of new or existing wells, new gas exploration wells in proximity to existing gas infrastructure, and new gas processing, storage and transport facilities.
Combined federal and state government funding will be capped at 50% of total project costs, and grants will be delivered through the National Partnership Agreement framework via bilateral or multilateral agreements.
“We are working with states and territories to implement this programme and to identify potential projects that can bring new gas to market by 2020,” Canavan said.
“The grant programme will be open to all states and territories. However, the government will not spend taxpayers’ money in those jurisdictions that can’t show us a pathway to gas development because of bans and moratoria.”
Canavan said that the federal government was also implementing the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism to ensure there is a sufficient supply of gas for domestic users, while continuing Australia’s leading role in the global liquefied natural gas export market.
The government is also providing A$2.7-million to work collaboratively with the states and territories to improve information for communities, access negotiations with landholders, and the direct benefits to communities from gas projects.
The Minister said the government’s long-term goal is to increase the domestic gas supply and boost competition, and improve transparency and efficiency of the gas market supply chain.
“We are working cooperatively to encourage exploration and identify new gas supplies, but we expect the states and territories to show the same commitment to opening more ways to improve Australia’s domestic gas supply,” he said.