Last week, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Australian announced that it will begin working with the States and Territories that are prepared to develop their own gas resources through the new $26 million Gas Acceleration Program (GAP) to fast track new gas to the east coast market.
At the COAG Energy Council meeting held last Friday, ministers agreed to work together on the implementation of the GAP.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the program was part of the Australian Government’s investment of over $90 million focussed 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,” Minister Canavan said.
GAP will offer up to $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
- new gas processing, storage and transport facilities.
Combined Federal and State Government funding will be capped at 50 per cent of total project costs, and grants will be delivered through the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) framework via bilateral or multilateral agreements.
“We are working with States and Territories to implement this program and to identify potential projects that can bring new gas to market by 2020,” Minister Canavan said.
“The grant program 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.
Minister Canavan added that the Government’s long-term goal was to increase the domestic gas supply and boost competition, and improve transparency and efficiency of the gas market supply chain.
“We are working co-operatively 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.