New gas pipelines would gain taxpayer support to increase energy supplies to industry and households under plans put to Prime Minister Scott Morrison from his top business advisers.

The proposal includes a federal guarantee to underpin new investment in domestic pipelines, just as opponents of the projects call for untapped gas to be left in the ground.

Nev Power (left), pictured with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, said one of the proposals from the advisory board’s manufacturing taskforce was for a “guaranteed off-take through infrastructure” to boost supply.Credit:Peter Braig

The chair of the federal government's COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board, business executive Nev Power, revealed the advice to a Senate committee on Tuesday morning after questions about new plans for industry policy.

As gas company Santos seeks federal and state approval to tap the Pilliga field of coal seam gas in northern NSW, the Prime Minister's advisory board is also backing new infrastructure that could assist that project.

Mr Power said one of the proposals from the advisory board's manufacturing taskforce was for a "guaranteed off-take through infrastructure" to boost supply.

"In other words … that there will be sufficient demand in that pipeline going forward," he told the Senate committee.

"Many of our gas pipelines are too small for the job that they're currently doing and that's pushing the tariffs exceedingly high and causing an increase in the cost of energy to Australian households and businesses.

"So what we're saying is, in the provision of new infrastructure that we need to be making sure that that infrastructure is the right size for any future demand."

Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletter

Get our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day’s crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here and The Age’s here.

Source: Read Full Article