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Research and science at core of Domestic Gas Strategy

14 April 2015

The Australian Government will continue to support the responsible development of Australia’s unconventional gas resources, including coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas, through a Domestic Gas Strategy which will provide the framework for development based on comprehensive scientific data and expertise.

The Domestic Gas Strategy builds on the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper, which has identified the onshore gas industry as an important energy source for Australia and for export.

“Australia is an energy superpower and some of our most significant opportunities for growth will come from our onshore gas assets,” Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said.

“We must ensure that we develop our energy assets in an environmentally and economically responsible way.

“The Australian Government’s Domestic Gas Strategy will ensure all decisions about the development of gas reserves are based on a comprehensive body of science and research that is detailed, easily accessible and answers the questions communities are asking as they work with the gas industry.

“Our Energy White Paper has laid out a blueprint for growth in our energy sector, by focussing on increasing competition, getting the most out of our energy resources by enhancing our energy productivity, and maximising investment in our energy sector.

“Unconventional gas, including coal seam and shale gas, is already a big part of Australia’s gas supply, accounting for around 40 per cent of production in the eastern Australian gas market. It will become even more important over the next decade in meeting domestic and international demand.

“By undertaking and distributing scientific research, the Australian Government supports the work of regulators and helps communities realise the benefits of responsible development. A vast amount of research has been completed or is underway to answer crucial environmental, health and other socio-economic questions.

“Greater understanding of the importance of gas development is essential to help underpin Australia’s future national economic wellbeing. The Government is listening and responding to community concerns.

“We also expect industry to take responsibility for its own future. This means being involved in meaningful and proactive engagement with communities and acting to understand and mitigate unwanted environmental or social impacts of its activities.

“The Domestic Gas Strategy will support discussions with State Governments, who have the primary responsibility for onshore gas development, and inform the work of the COAG Energy Council on ways to address unnecessary barriers to bringing on new gas supply.

“New gas development will ensure farmers’ rights and bring tangible benefits for local communities while protecting our land and water resources.

“It’s through this balance that we will cement our position as an energy superpower and remain competitive.”

The Domestic Gas Strategy is available at http://www.industry.gov.au/DomesticGasStrategy

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's Office 02 6277 7070