The Regions peak business organisation, the Hunter Business Chamber, has welcomed the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) decision to approve the Narrabri Gas Project.
“The Hunter has a vast range of high energy using industries where cost and reliability of energy supply is vital,” said Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes.
“Whilst we all agree the renewable energy industry needs to be expanded, it is currently a bridge too far for many of our businesses and industries to immediately adapt to renewable energy sources because of supply and reliability issues.
“Based on the technology in place, industry needs firm, dispatchable power generally supplied from thermal sources and gas has been widely identified and supported as a means to do this.
“Gas is a complementary energy source to renewables. Securing our gas supply will help support reliable and affordable power as the energy market continues to evolve and develop emerging technologies like hydrogen.
“It’s now vital that work begin immediately to build this project and provide a reliable and affordable supply of gas in NSW by 2025 – that’s when the Australian Energy Market Operator has projected, we will face a shortfall if no action is taken.
The Business NSW report ‘Running on Empty’, released last December, highlights the cost of the historic failure to take advantage of the state’s rich natural gas resources.
“Over recent years, the price of gas in NSW has tripled and that has placed devastating costs on many businesses. Our strong manufacturing base here in the Hunter is at risk if we don’t put downward pressure on the price of gas and supporting responsible projects that can increase supply in NSW and the Hunter,” Mr Hawes added.
“The Narrabri Gas Project is one of several gas supply initiatives that has been identified that could help our manufacturers not only survive the recession but thrive into the future,” Mr Hawes said.
“The Hunter region is ideally placed to continue as a energy hub and powerhouse and building the bridge from where we are now to a secure energy future dominated by renewables will be enormously assisted by firming abundant, affordable and accessible gas supplies,” Mr Hawes noted.
Amy De Lore
Policy and Public Affairs Manager
P: 02 9466 5665
M: 0419 218 830