Exclusive: The report does not consider alternatives to gas, or mention climate change and the financial risk of investing in fossil fuel as emissions are cut
Australian taxpayers should underwrite a massive expansion of the domestic gas industry – including helping open new fields and build hundreds of kilometres of pipelines – according to a group advising on Covid-19 recovery.
A leaked draft report by a manufacturing taskforce advising the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) recommends the Morrison government make sweeping changes to “create the market” for gas and build fossil fuel infrastructure that would operate for decades.
Considering tax incentives for priority gas infrastructure.
Lifting remaining gas exploration moratoria in New South Wales and Victoria, and easing regulations in the Northern Territory to allow quicker access to new supply from the massive Beetaloo Basin.
Using a reverse auction “contract-for-difference” scheme, such as that used for wind and solar in Victoria, for state governments to buy gas-fired power at lowest cost.
Providing support, such as low-cost capital, for existing small and medium-sized gas companies to invest.
Rapidly cutting regulations, described as “green and red tape”, to allow developments.
Introducing gas reservation policies for the NT and east coast developments, as exist in Western Australia, to ensure not all gas is exported.