The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, believes that the planning approval for the Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT) is a step closer to providing greater certainty and affordability to natural gas supply for NSW.
“Many businesses and families in NSW rely on gas for their energy needs, so additional supply, in what is a strained NSW gas market, will help put downward pressure on gas bills,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“Reliable and affordable energy is critical to business, households and communities, however in recent times price increases and reliability concerns have played havoc and continue to threaten tens of thousands of jobs in NSW manufacturing,” Mr Cartwright said.
“Our Quarterly Business Conditions Surveys highlight that half of respondents identify energy prices as their top cost control priority.
“Over 1.3 million homes in NSW use gas for cooking and heating. Thousands of small businesses, from commercial laundries to bakeries, cannot open their doors without gas. In the manufacturing sector, gas underpins around 250,000 jobs.
“In addition to the gas import facility proposed for Port Kembla, NSW must also develop our own gas reserves.
“The ACCC estimates the cost of transporting gas from Queensland to NSW adds $2 to $4 a gigajoule to the wholesale gas price, which for new contracts currently sits around $8-11. That’s a 20% to 40% price premium on every gas bill across the state because NSW has to rely on other states and territories to supply us with natural gas.
“Natural gas truly is a bridge to a cleaner energy future, and if we developed our own reserves in NSW we could potentially do more to support the faster transition to more renewable energy,” Mr Cartwright said.