Cooking with gas: PM’s economic recovery plan revealed
Queensland will be central to the Morrison Government's "gas-led recovery plan", aimed at keeping power prices lower and supporting manufacturing jobs.
In his first major pre-budget speech, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Tuesday announce plans to open up more gas fields across the country and create an Australian Gas Hub - to be based in western Queensland - which will link up the nation's LNG supplies through the state.
Mr Morrison will say boosting the gas supply will drop prices, put downward pressure on whole electricity prices, help shore up renewable energy and support manufacturing in Australia.
"Our competitive advantage has always been based on affordable, reliable energy," he will say in a speech to industry in Newcastle today.
"As we turn to our economic recovery from COVID-19, affordable gas will play a central role in re-establishing the strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding government services and opportunities for all."
There will be $28 million announced for developing "strategic blueprints" to further open up five gas fields across the country, including the North Bowen, Galilee and Cooper basins in Queensland.
The government will also investigate turning the Wallumbilla gas field into the Australian Gas Hub - essentially a central hub linking gas fields and export ports across the country through pipelines, bringing down the cost of production.
Mr Morrison said the hub would keep Australia competitive in the global gas markets.
There is no modelling available yet on the impact these would have on power prices or how much more gas would be made available through opening up the basins, as more research is required.
A National Gas Infrastructure Plan will be developed, and updated every two years, to find out where gaps in the gas market are, and what investment needs to be made in pipelines and related infrastructure.
It is intended for the private sector to deliver those investments, but the government would step in and offer incentives like streamlined approval if needed.
Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the plans would provide cheaper gas to the manufacturing sector, which employs about 225,000 Australians in parts of the industry reliant on gas.
"Developing Australia's untapped gas resources will help to deliver more affordable and more sustainable gas supply that supports households and businesses," Minister Pitt said.
LNG exports from Queensland are already a $15 billion a year industry.
Originally published as State's central role in PM plan for gas-led recovery