Gas deal good news for business

The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, says business will take great comfort following a $2 billion deal between the State and Commonwealth Governments to secure the future of NSW energy supplies.

“This package of measures promises to bring down costs while boosting confidence that we can avoid looming supply shortfalls”, said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.

“I commend Prime Minister Morrison and Premier Berejiklian for working together to secure an outcome that will deliver a win/win for business and the broader community,” Mr Cartwright said.

“In recent years, gas prices in NSW have tripled. With NSW production decreasing, gas has had to be shipped longer distances into the state.

“As our detailed report ‘Running on Empty’ released last December found, this imposes cost increases on smaller businesses of $26,400 per year for a typical commercial bakery, $66,000 per year for a galvanising plant or $369,600 per year for a tomato processor based in NSW, compared with an equivalent business located in Queensland.

“There’s no doubt that freeing up gas supplies in NSW will ease this competitive imbalance.

“As well as prioritising new production at Narrabri, today’s plan must also ensure that new LNG import facilities can progress, and that new investment in pipeline infrastructure is brought forward so that gas can get to where it is needed. “Businesses have consistently identified energy costs as one of their leading priorities for cost savings, and if today’s announcement delivers the savings promised it will come as welcome relief and a significant boost to the productivity of the state’s economy.

“Gas generation can help the state reduce its power sector emissions.

“Alongside the proposals for a renewable energy zone in the West of the state, this could be an important first step in reducing the state’s emissions while also bringing down energy costs for users,” Mr Cartwright said.

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