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GEA urges government to stick to LNG commitment

Shell deferral must spur action on transport fuel security, group says

The gas industry has urged the Federal Government to hold fast to its commitment to LNG as a transport fuel in the wake of Shell’s move to shelve its truck gas network on the Hume Freeway.

Gas Energy Australia (GEA) CEO and Director Mike Carmody says that, to the contrary, the move should reinforce the need for Australia to develop its natural resources to meet its future energy demands.

LNG transport is a key part of the Federal Government’s Policy for Resources and Energy, released in September 2013, the organisation says.

The document states that the Coalition, “will work with industry to facilitate the development of logistics systems for LNG as a transport fuel, particularly in the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne transport corridors”.

Carmody believes Shell’s announcement shouldn’t change that commitment.

“Significant LNG refuelling infrastructure already exists in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania,” he says.

“Westfarmers and BOC already have a total of 17 LNG stations with plans for another eight. The future of LNG in Australia is not solely dependent on Shell.” 

GEA points to this week’s release of the NRMA-commissioned report, Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security Part 2, that further highlights the need for Australia to embrace alternative fuels to improve its fuel security. 

According to the report, Australia is now more than 90 per cent dependent on imported liquid fuel and oil for transport, and there’s no plan in place to stop our dependence from increasing.

“The industry recognises the potential for LNG, CNG and LPG as a transport fuel in Australia,” Carmody says.

“In response, Gas Energy Australia, as the industry’s national peak representative body, has formed an LNG Transport Taskforce that’s working on increasing the fuel’s profile, uptake and infrastructure. 

“The Federal Government must stay true to its policy and work with us to make it happen.”

GEA is contributing to research on gas transport fuels improving Australia’s energy security, being led by UNSW, along with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Grattan Institute.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, and former Howard Government minister Robert Hill, attended a stakeholder roundtable at UNSW last week to discuss preparation of a report on this research which will be presented to Prime Minister Tony Abbott later this year.

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