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Victorian Nationals

Labor’s “political” gas decision is premature

The decision to ban gas connections to new homes from next year is a response to inner-city politics and not the result of good energy policy.

That’s the view of The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien whose electorate is the source of 90 per cent of Victoria’s gas.

“As the local MP who represents our hard-working oil and gas industry workers who help keep Victorians warm and increasingly help keep the lights on, this decision is another slap for our Gippsland region.

“There is no question that gas will continue to be part of our energy mix for some time and specifically prohibiting it from new home builds takes away the choice of Victorian families and further narrows our energy options.

“With electricity prices going through the roof at the moment thanks to Labor’s mismanagement, the Government’s claims of bill savings by forcing people onto electricity alone just cannot be believed.”

Mr O’Brien says he considers the decision premature given uncertainty over gas reticulation and the prospect of a longer-term switch to hydrogen.

“We know the gas in Bass Strait is running down and new gas is getting harder to find and is often more expensive, but we also know there are also potential future opportunities in hydrogen, including producing it here in Gippsland.  I know other countries are trialing switching from natural gas to hydrogen for heating and domestic use.

“It would be foolish for any government to start winding back the use of gas or forcing people off it when we may need the reticulation system for a future hydrogen economy.”

Mr O’Brien said our Bass Strait gas workers will be supplying the state and the east coast for some time.

“It’s extraordinarily hypocritical of the Government to claim that gas is running out and the price going up when that is the result, at least in part, of this same Government’s prohibitions on gas exploration and production.

“Labor needs to stop pandering to the Greens and take a measured and sensible approach to transition that doesn’t lock us into one technology or another.”

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