October 9, 2017

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan has welcomed the Liberal Nationals onshore conventional gas exploration and domestic reservation policy announced today by leader of the Opposition Hon Matthew Guy.

This policy will give rural and regional Victorians a clear way forward in securing growing and advancing important local industries. Increasing supply uncertainty and rising gas prices are costing local regional industries millions of dollars per year.

The Liberal Nationals policy will provide security, and reward and protect our local farming communities who will maintain control over their land. Like other farmers receiving payments for wind turbines, farmers will be eligible for payments for gas extracted from their land.

Conventional gas exploration has been ongoing in Victoria with thousands of wells created, tapped and capped over many decades. This is a proven technology that is safe and can ensure the vital value-adding that is required in south west Victoria, so that dairy, timber and meat processing industry can continue to be competitive on the world stage.

A Liberal Nationals Government will legislate to allow onshore conventional gas exploration and production in Victoria on a case-by-case basis.

Allowing the private sector to locate new sources of gas will help to bring more supply into the Victorian energy market and reduce cost pressures.

The domestic reservation component of this policy will ensure that Victoria’s onshore gas will be developed and harnessed and made available for the important growing industries in south west Victoria.

Many will remember the hard fight rural towns had getting gas connected to our townships. Without this policy we run the risk not having important gas supplies to keep our local industries going.

Richard Riordan MP and Shadow Energy Minister Hon David Southwick have met with local timber processors in Polwarth, who have welcomed the price stability and supply guarantee that a policy like this would develop in our region (at AKD, Colac).