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Natural Gas Substitution - Victoria

By Bruce Barbour - August 2021

The State of Victoria has legislated that they will be at zero emissions by 2050. While it could be argued that it should be sooner than this it is far better than what the Morrison Lib/Nat Commonwealth government proposing - a very weak 2030 target and some nambi-pambi words about 2050. It is interesting that while all of the State Governments have had no issue with committing to zero emissions, including State Liberal Governments, it is apparently too difficult for the useless Federal Liberal Government.

However that is not what this page is about.

Because of the State Government's zero emissions 2050 commitment they realise that they have to move the State away from the use of the fossil fuel natural gas prior to 2050. This is a significant undertaking as Victoria is easily the largest user of natural gas in Australia. Most homes are connected to the natural gas distribution system.

The State Government has recently had two community consultation processes, each calling for submissions from groups and individuals. The subject of both consultations was very similar and really should have been combined into one process. I put in a submission to both consultation - the Covid lock down (No. 6!) provided me with plenty of time to write the submissions.

The first consultation process was from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning:
Help Us Build Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap
Feedback was sought on their Consultation Paper (Archive version Here).
My submission is here.

The second consultation process was from the Infrastructure Victoria:
Towards 2050: Gas infrastructure in a zero emissions economy
Feedback was sought on the Department's Interim Report (Archive Version Here).
My submission is here. If should be read in conjunction with the first submission.

After having spent a couple of days writing these submissions I looked at a previous consultation undertaken by the State Government. Copies of all the submissions from companies and other groups were provided on the site. There were about 600 submissions from private individuals. All of these submissions were "summarised" in a three page document. I hope more notice of their content was taken than that - otherwise I have just wasted a couple of days!
 
The website says that Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap will be released later this year. However it would not surprise me if it was well into the new year (2022) before it is released. There are a lot of very big, very impactful decisions that need to be made. And some of the decisions may have political repercussions.

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