04/06/2008 - 12:00

Calls for state energy policy

04/06/2008 - 12:00

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The disruption to state gas supplies following the Varanus Island gas explosion has prompted the state opposition and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA to renew their calls for the development of a comprehensive state energy policy.

The disruption to state gas supplies following the Varanus Island gas explosion has prompted the state opposition and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA to renew their calls for the development of a comprehensive state energy policy.

It is the second time this year WA has faced disruptions to energy supplies after Woodside Petroleum Ltd was forced to shut-down the Karratha gas plant after an electrical fault.

Yesterday Apache Energy Ltd reported a pipeline rupture and fire at its gas processing plant on Varanus Island, off the Pilbara coast in WA's north.

 

Both statements from the opposition leader Troy Buswell and CCIWA are pasted below

State Energy Plan essential for WA's future: Libs

Liberal leader Troy Buswell has again called for the implementation of a State Energy Plan in light of the second disruption to gas supplies in the past six months.

Mr Buswell had previously committed a Liberal Government to implement such a plan in his document, Building a Lasting Vision for Western Australia released last month.

"For the second time in six months WA families and businesses are staring down the barrel of an energy shortage because for the past seven years the State Government has failed to take a strategic approach to securing our energy supply," Mr Buswell said.

"Developing a WA State Energy Plan would provide leadership in the development of our energy sector in the supply and provision of energy for the domestic and export markets. It has been leadership that has been sorely lacking from this Government."

Under questioning in State Parliament recently, Energy Minister Fran Logan said, 'It does not matter whether we have a plan' (LA 3 April 2008). This laziness and lack of strategic planning is to the detriment of the State.

Again under questioning the State Government was forced to concede under questioning that:

"There is no contingency plan specifically for the management of gas supply disruptions."

 

Need for state energy policy highlighted yet again: CCIWA

The latest major disruption to Western Australia's domestic gas supplies has once again exposed the state's energy vulnerabilities as a result of its dependence on gas from a limited number of supply sources in the North West.

The state's peak business organisation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, is concerned that for the second time this year gas supplies to the state have been compromised, forcing business and industry to use less efficient and more costly fuel sources.

For a state that is the economic powerhouse of the nation - generating jobs, investment, wealth and opportunities for all Australians - it is essential that local business and industry has certainty and security of supply.

The latest disruption exposes the state's dependence on a limited number of gas production plants and highlights the need to implement policies that encourage the development of a more diverse primary fuel base. Any state energy policy should consider the full range of energy sources available including gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy.

CCI has been a leader for some time in calling on the State Government to develop as a matter of urgency a comprehensive state energy policy that would act as a blueprint for WA's future energy needs.

Government can further assist by streamlining the state's planning and approvals processes to encourage greater exploration and development of new energy sources.

A long term energy policy would also give business and investors a greater degree of confidence about the state's energy future, both for export and domestic customers, and provide the market with pointers to potential investment opportunities.

With the safety of workers assured it is now important that gas supplies from the Varanus Island gas operation are restored as soon as possible.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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