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It's a gas, gas, gas



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MINISTER FOR RESOURCES ALAN GRIFFITHS MP

EMBARGOED UNTIL MIDNIGHT

PEE91/249G 7 October 1991

IT’S A GAS, GAS, GAS X

The Minister for Resources, Mr Alan Griffiths, today presented the keynote address to delegates at the 28th Annual Convention of the Australian Gas Association in Melbourne.

Mr Griffiths described as a major breakthrough in the development of a National Gas Strategy for Natural Gas, the industry's unanimous agreement that Australia should disregard State boundaries and take a truly national focus in the development of our essential natural resources.

Mr Griffiths emphasised that this is the first time that all elements of the industry have committed themselves to what is in effect the objective of free trade in natural gas in Australia.

The Minister said "I am therefore hopeful that the unprecedented unanimity of all key industry players will encourage the State and Territory Governments to participate in the development of a free trade in natural gas.

“The clean burning and environmental advantages of this fuel have in no small way contributed to its present market position. The fact that natural gas now accounts for more than 17 per cent of Australia’s primary energy demand speaks for itself.”

“One disadvantage with our proven reserves to date is that our existing uncommitted reserves are largely located offshore north-west Australia, far removed from the major . domestic demand centres.”

“This is one of the factors which have led me, the industry and the State and Territory governments to realise that the time is right to develop a national strategy for the efficient economic development of our natural gas resources for domestic and export markets.”

Minister Griffiths said this would be an important step to encouraging free and fair trade in gas and further exploration and development in areas closer to major markets. It would be a key step towards developing an open and competitive market driven gas industry. ·

“I believe that we can approach these issues with States/Territories with a greater deal of optimism than would have been the case even one year ago. I am also reviewing the export approvals system for liquefied natural gas (LNG).”

CO ,vi Μ Ο N W EAi-T H - -PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY — MICAH

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 2777480 Fax: (06) 2734154

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Growing demand for LNG in Asian markets has led to strong interest in Australia as a major LNG supplier well into the next century. These Asian developments are particularly relevant to Australia given the proven success of the North West Shelf Project in demonstrating our capacity to be internationally competitive in Japan - the largest export market for LNG.

“It is my intention to put to Cabinet the best integrated approach to meet the overall needs of the gas industry and at the same time, caring for the community’s future needs - addressing natural gas use in both Australian and export markets.”

“The gas industry and State and Territory governments have all contributed to the current debate on natural gas and I am sure that this consultation will benefit all users of this increasingly important, environmentally-fnendly fuel,” he said.

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FURTHER INFORMATION:

Minister’s office: John Brumby (06) 277 7480

Department: Allen Beasley (06) 272 4566

ATTACHMENT: Minister Griffiths' keynote address