_Changes in the Pipeline

Last month the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) intervened in the sale and supply of gas across the country to ensure particularly that southeastern Australia domestic gas supply would continue to be available to meet demand.  Just days later, the Victorian Minister for Planning exercised powers of intervention in determining that the Victorian Planning Provisions would be amended.

This amendment, known as VC221, has just been approved across all Victorian planning schemes and removes the requirement for all developments and subdivisions to be provided with a connection to reticulated gas.  The amendment does not ban the provision of reticulated gas to new developments but rather leaves it at the discretion of the developer.  Where developers opt not to provide gas, the planning applications for development will no longer be referred to the relevant gas supply agency.

With rising energy prices and the recent concerns about continuing supply export of gas resources, the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap seeks to reduce State reliance on gas.  The Roadmap encourages an increased uptake in electric and renewable energy sources, which are deemed to be efficient, reliable and clean options (although we question some of this spin when much of the generated electricity is still coal-generated). 

VC221 seeks to support the Victorian move away from gas.  This may reduce its use in new developments but current users of reticulated gas are not impacted by the planning provision change and issues with supply and cost are likely to persist for consumers.  

We note that a number of our developer clients have already started moving away from supplying gas in their projects.