The Cook Labor Government must do more to help bring new gas supplies on stream to head off the major shortages forecast in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s latest report.
Liberal leader Libby Mettam said the Gas Statement of Opportunities had sounded the alarm bell, warning of a 56 per cent increase in gas use over the next decade with a 27 per cent shortfall in supply.
“With both the Cook and Albanese governments putting their foot on the approvals’ hose for new gas projects and an unrealistic time frame for the closure of coal-fired power stations, West Australians are going to be saddled with higher energy costs and left in the dark,” Ms Mettam said.
“We also have the absurd situation where both the federal and state Labor governments are funding the activist group the Environmental Defenders Office to mount legal action to stop critical supply projects like Woodside’s Scarborough development in WA.
Ms Mettam said this year’s warning from AEMO came as no surprise.
“Last year’s report also flagged shortfalls, but the Cook Government waited until the eve of the release of this year’s report to start even talking about the need for approvals reform,” she said.
“The report highlights the need for the Cook Labor Government to keep all supply options on the table to ensure decarbonisation is delivered with community and business support.
“Coal stations must close, there is no argument about that, but the transition must be orderly to protect customers from blackouts and high prices.
“New gas supplies are an essential part of that equation.”