NSW Government future of gas statement delivers clarity on PELs and land use

Deputy Premier, Minister for Energy and Environment

The NSW Government has today released its Future of Gas Statement, outlining plans for the gas industry in NSW, while ruling out gas production under the majority of Petroleum Exploration Licences (zombie PELs), with the exception of those which support the future of the Narrabri Gas Project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Resources John Barilaro said gas plays a key role in supporting access to affordable energy and business growth within NSW and the Future of Gas Statement gives industry bodies, regional communities and farmers greater certainty around jobs, economic prosperity and land use.

“Supporting gas production in and around the Narrabri region and investment in gas-related infrastructure will help to create thousands of jobs, strengthen local economies and drive the state’s recovery from COVID-19,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We have heard the concerns and questions from our regional communities around PELs and I can confirm today we are reducing the area of land available for gas exploration by 77 per cent. The active PELs that remain will be to support the long-term future of the Narrabri Gas Project.

“To provide absolute certainty, the NSW Government will amend the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy to reflect these changes.

“When we came to office in 2011, petroleum exploration titles or applications covered 45 per cent of NSW – under our Future of Gas Statement, that figure has been reduced to just 1.5 per cent of the state.”

The NSW Government will not be releasing new areas for gas exploration in NSW and this includes areas in the Far West of NSW, near Wilcannia and Broken Hill, which were recently assessed under the NSW Government’s Strategic Release Framework.

“We want to ensure communities where gas exploration occurs receive their fair share and that’s why I’m also confirming additional funding will be made available for these LGAs through a future round of Resources for Regions,” Mr Barilaro said.

Minister for Energy Matt Kean said secure and reliable access to gas, achieved through a mix of sources, will be vital to ensure the continued growth of the state’s economy, in particular our industrial and processing sectors.

“Gas is an essential source of energy to manufacture products such as fertiliser, and heavy construction materials,” Mr Kean said

“The NSW Government is determined to set a clear policy framework to secure supply and put downward pressure on prices.”

The future of gas in NSW includes the Narrabri Gas Project as a driver for the proposed Narrabri Special Activation Precinct, along with LNG import terminals at Port Kembla and Newcastle to help ensure sufficient market supply.

For more information, read the Future of Gas Statement.

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