Distribution, Gas, LNG, Markets, Projects, Technology

Industry welcomes carbon tax repeal and removal of offshore visa uncertainty

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive David Byers has commented on the significance of the repeal, saying that it allows Australian LNG exporters to again be competitive in the global market.

“Wood Mackenzie forecasts that by 2025, LNG demand within the Pacific Basin alone, will outstrip supply from existing or committed LNG projects by 160 MMt,”? APPEA Chief Executive David Byers said.

“Surging LNG demand in Asia presents an enormous opportunity for Australia. However, rising development costs raise doubts about the attractiveness of continued investment in Australian projects.

“While initiatives are being taken within the industry to address cost competitiveness, it is good to see policy action that removes costs for trade-exposed producers.”

Power retailer AGL has said that it is currently working through the details of the repeal for business customers and that any price changes for commercial and industrial customers will be in line with individual contracts.

Repeal won’t end emission obligations

Deloitte Director of Sustainability Paul Dobson said the repeal of the carbon tax will mean little for business in the short-term.

“While many companies might breathe an immediate sigh of relief, the bottom line is that this issue is not going away,”? Mr Dobson said.

“As the government looks to implement its direct action policy and the emission reduction fund (ERF), there will be an increased focus on emission reduction projects and activities including energy efficiency.”?

Mr Dobson commented that even though the carbon tax has been back-dated to 1 July 2014, it will continue to have a long tail of compliance for Australian companies.

Offshore visa reinstatement

Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has welcomed moves by the Federal Government to allow foreign workers engaged in offshore resource activities to continue to legally work in Australian waters.

The issuing of a legislative instrument follows a vote passed in the Senate last Wednesday to disallow offshore visa regulations allowing foreign workers to be employed on offshore projects with a maritime crew visa, which does not require employers to prove they attempted to hire an Australian citizen for the job, unlike a 457 visa for temporary skilled migrants.

The move effectively reinstates the offshore visa regime that existed prior to 29 June 2014 and extensions to the Australian migration zone on 1 July 2014.

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