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Peak body calls for Australia to increase its use of local gaseous fuels

In a 2016-17 pre-budget submission, Gas Energy Australia called on the government to:

  • reform federal policies and programs to ensure low emitting gaseous fuels are treated the same as other low emission energy sources
  • support innovation in the development of lower emitting and more efficient gas engine technologies, including large truck engines, gas vehicle conversion technologies, and accelerated depreciation for the upfront costs of converting trucks to run on gas
  • ensure the tax burden on gaseous transport fuels is not greater than 50 per cent of that on diesel on an energy equivalent basis, as has been promised by both major parties
  • avoid costly and wasteful government subsidies for fixed pipeline infrastructure, where “˜virtual pipelines’ are already in place or might provide a more cost-effective alternative.

“While other countries are pushing ahead with gaseous fuels, a range of barriers are holding back their use and stopping Australians from enjoying the benefits that would flow from their greater use,”? Gas Energy Australia said in its submission.

“Australia needs to act now to ensure that gaseous fuels are treated the same as other low emission energy sources so we can secure our energy future, take care of the environment and help our economy to grow.”?

Executive Director of the IEA Dr Fatih Birol has stated that reduced investment as a result of low oil prices and the subsequent greater dependence on the Middle East are a risk to future international fuel security.

Significantly, Gas Energy Australia Chief Executive John Griffiths said Australia faced nearly 100 per cent dependence on imported oil – sourced from some of the world’s most unstable regions.

“Australia needs to meet its IEA oil reserve obligations and increased fuel diversity, including through cleaner, cheaper Australian gas fuels, offer a cost-effective solution – certainly much cheaper than building a strategic reserve, which the Government’s Energy White Paper Issues Paper estimated would cost $6.8 billion.”?

Mr Griffiths said greater use of Australian-based gaseous fuels not only reduces dependence on “dirtier, foreign oil imports”?, but also results in the use of lower emitting, lower polluting and “healthier fuels”?.

“It is crazy that Australia imports dirtier, oil-based fuels, when domestically produced gas and gas fuel technology not only improves energy security but also is a cleaner, cheaper and safer option supporting Australian jobs.”?

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