Action needed on gas before the end of 2015 or jobs will be lost, says Australian Paper

Gippsland Australian Paper has warned that it may have
to scale back operations if it can’t secure a gas deal by the end of the year.

Fairfax reports that Australian Paper, which is part of
the Reserve Our Gas coalition, has been unable to secure a supply for its manufacturing operations.

Australian Paper has proposed the federal government act
on the worsening availability of natural gas, including through a domestic
reservation scheme.

According to the ABC, Australian Paper employs about
950 at its Gippsland factory, and supports as many as 22,000 jobs in the local
forestry sector.

The paper maker and others are pushing for greater availability of natural gas for local users.

“Reservation on its own is no answer,” Brian
Green, the company’s purchasing manager, told Fairfax.

Yesterday the Productivity Commission urged against a reservation
scheme in its report into the local industry. It also called for an
examination of CSG mining being blocked in NSW and Victoria, The Australian reports.

The commission said that scientific evidence suggests “the
technical challenges and risks can be managed through a well-designed
regulatory regime, underpinned by effective monitoring and enforcement of
compliance.’’

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