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Victoria’s energy crisis must be addressed by allowing onshore conventional gas exploration

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today welcomes a policy from the Liberal Nationals supporting onshore conventional gas exploration on a case by case basis.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Mark Stone AM said the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration until 2020 was putting Victoria at a disadvantage and should be removed to allow for exploration on a case by case basis.

“We have consistently called for a regulatory regime to manage the risks of individual gas supply projects on a case by case basis to be installed instead of the moratorium,” he said.

“Proven and reliable technologies are available, which do not involve fracking, and should be investigated. When businesses face such steep increases in energy prices, it does not just impact them but all Victorians.

“We have consistently called for political parties to listen and stop preventing exploration of Victoria’s gas reserves, restricting Victoria’s ability to make significant progress.

“We are encouraged our message has been heard by some and now call on other political parties to review their policy and do what is best for Victorians.”

Victorian manufacturers use about 30 per cent of the natural gas consumed in the state. Other industries that rely on energy and are being hit by high price rises are universities, hospitals, cold storage, aluminium, pharmaceuticals, paper and packaging, food processing and building materials.

Exporters and other trade exposed businesses that cannot pass on cost increases also are facing pressure.

In a previous survey of Victorian Chamber members, more than a third of respondents had already experienced significant increases in their energy costs.

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