SA says Feds should intervene in pipeline decision

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By KIERAN FINNANE

 

The day before Chief Minister Adam Giles’ announcement that the gas pipeline would be built from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa, with the contract going to Jemena, jointly owned by State Grid Corporation of China and Singapore Power, South Australia was calling for a national approach top the project.

 

SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis in a media release on 16 November warned that the northern route preferred by Mr Giles would be more costly, even though shorter, and would lead to higher gas prices on the eastern seaboard.

 

Following the announcement the next day he called on newly-appointed Federal Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg to intervene in the selection process.

 

“A nation-building project needs a national approach to ensure success,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

 

“I am disappointed for the people of the east coast who will be paying higher gas prices as a result of this decision.

 

“The economic benefits of a southern route far outweighed the Queensland option, which requires costly, additional processing facilities to be constructed before Northern Territory gas can access markets.”

 

The South Australian Government had supported the more efficient southern routes proposed by both DDG Operations Pty Ltd (DUET) and Pipeline Consortia Partners Australia Pty Ltd.

 

Those two bids proposed to connect the onshore gas fields in the Northern Territory to the eastern market through existing infrastructure at Moomba in South Australia’s Cooper Basin.

 

Mr Koutsantonis said Mr Frydenberg should intervene in the national interest to protect consumers in the eastern gas markets from higher energy prices.

 

“He should list the issue for discussion at next month’s COAG Energy Council in Canberra,” he said.

 

“The findings of the ongoing Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into south east gas prices should also be taken into consideration.”

 

Asked by the Alice Springs News Online today whether they were maintaining their call for Federal intervention, a spokeswoman for the SA Government said: “We’ve publicly stated that the issue should be discussed at next month’s COAG energy council. The Federal Government can intervene. They have so far indicated they won’t, which is disappointing.”

 

 

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Albert Diano
    Posted December 11, 2015 at 7:10 am

    In my view I believe SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis is only interested in raising revenue for the benefit of South Australian Government. He should be more disappointed for the people of the SA who already pay higher gas prices.

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  2. Posted November 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

    There’s something about this time of year and gas pipelines.
    In mid November 1965 the Member for the Northern Territory, Jock Nelson, threw his support behind the construction of a gas pipeline from the newly discovered Amadeus Basin natural gas field to the Top End; specifically he had in mind the pipeline going to northeast Arnhem Land rather than Darwin, to facilitate the development of the massive bauxite deposits at Gove.
    Along the way he envisaged spur lines to service development of the massive silver-lead-zinc deposit at Macarthur River and the brand new manganese mining operation on Groote Eylandt.
    He further suggested that Mt Isa could be linked to the proposed pipeline, too. That was exactly 50 years ago this month. (Only one of these has come to eventual fruition when the NT Government, under Mines and Energy Minister Shane Stone, built a spur line in 1993 to facilitate development of the Macarthur River Mine).
    However, in mid November 1964 it was reported that Premier Thomas Playford was investigating the possibility of linking the new Mereenie gas field via pipeline to the Moomba-Gidgealpa field in the far north of South Australia, for which planning was underway to construct a pipeline from that field to Adelaide.
    There was also speculation of connecting Moomba with Sydney and Melbourne.
    However, fate intervened – Playford lost office in early 1965 and his successor Frank Walsh didn’t support building a gas pipeline from Central Australia to Moomba.
    Instead, he urged The Centre to exploit its newly discovered Mereenie aquifer to develop horticulture and pastoralism.

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