Morrison Government’s “Gas-Fired Recovery” Plan

Recently much has been reported in the media on the Morrison Government’s “Gas-Fired Recovery” Plan, the critical role Queensland will continue to play in supplying additional gas volumes into the domestic market, plans to unlock key gas basins in the North Bowen and Galilee basins, and the expansion of the Gas Supply Hub (GSH) in Wallumbilla, near Roma in Queensland. With the Wallumbilla GSH now slated to become the primary gas hub on the east coast, helping secure a daily reference price to be used as the benchmark for all gas sales into the east coast market.

Queensland’s onshore gas industry has been part of the shared economic landscape since the 1960s, expanding rapidly in the 2000s with the development of its coal seam gas reserves and the construction of the Curtis Island LNG export facilities. Then in 2014, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) established one of two GSHs at Wallumbilla, in the Maranoa Region of Queensland, to improve wholesale trading of gas in the domestic market. In addition to the gas volumes being exported as LNG, Queensland continues to supply a significant, and ever increasing volume of gas into the domestic market.

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So, what does all this mean for landholders living in the Surat, Galilee or Bowen Basins, or any areas of Queensland accommodating gas development activities?

Established as an independent statutory body in 2013, the Commission’s purpose is to manage and improve the sustainable coexistence of landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. The Commission manages sustainable coexistence in petroleum and gas producing regions of Queensland, and will continue to do so as the industry expands into new and emerging basins.

Our vision is to achieve thriving communities in areas of gas development that are free from discord and supported by well-informed, respectful and balanced stakeholder relationships.

One way the Commission is endeavouring to realise this vision is by providing transparency and independent assurances that the onshore gas industry is appropriately regulated and held to account when needed. This in turn will help cultivate sustainable coexistence, whilst ensuring community and landholder confidence in the regulators and gas industry increases.

Drawing on its wealth of experience in the development of the gas industry and by collaborating with other relevant entities, the Commission provides a range of support to communities and landholders, primarily through education and engagement. These education and engagement activities occur with individual landholders via Commission facilitated webinars, information sessions, publications (The Gas Guide, Shared Landscapes Reports), face-to-face meetings and public workshops.

It should be noted that the Commission does not engage in individual negotiations between landholders and gas companies, but rather provides communities and landholders with the information and support they need to make informed decisions and achieve good outcomes.