Cleaner Australian gaseous fuels would help protect the Great Barrier Reef

A+ A- Print This Page

Australia could further protect the Great Barrier Reef by promoting the use of lower emitting and lower polluting Australian gaseous fuels like LNG, CNG and LPG instead of more toxic imported diesel for tourism and other operations near the Reef, Australia’s peak body for downstream gas fuels said today.

Commenting on recent plans to assist the Reef, Gas Energy Australia CEO John Griffiths said that both major parties could include protections not only on emissions but also reduce the risks of fuel spillage and related damage by providing similar support to lower emitting Australian produced gas fuels.

“Australian produced and abundant gaseous fuels are Great Barrier Reef friendly”, Mr Griffiths said.

“These fuels contribute up to 25% lower carbon emissions and virtually no other toxins like NOx and SO2. Unlike oil based fuels, they evaporate on contact with water so they don’t slick and sediment like diesel.”

“We have no problem with renewables, but wet tropical areas don’t always provide ideal conditions for reliable solar. And renewables are not suitable for some applications like shipping, tourism vessels and offshore island base load generation, so alternative lower emitting generation can come from gas fuelled generation.”

“Ironically, ARENA funding has been awarded to solar diesel hybrids that have higher overall emissions than a lower emitting gas solution – but currently the ‘green’ schemes don’t support lower emitting gas technology even if it’s the most suitable fuel for the application.”

“This means that imported, higher polluting diesel can get a leg up, while lower polluting Australian produced fuels like gas, that also support local jobs, are excluded.”

“We also know that a number of Australian boat and ferry builders for example can and would like to produce more LNG powered ferries and catamarans.”

“Gaseous fuels are the only lower emitting alternative to diesel with advanced enough technology and energy density to provide a feasible alternative at quantity to imported diesel for the foreseeable future.”

“With transport contributing up to 30% of our emissions, Australia can make a start simply by targeted, cost effective incentives for cleaner fuels around sensitive environments to give operators in those areas the option for a cleaner fuel future.”

“GEA’s 2016 Election Policy Statement suggests six simple steps to contribute to our 2030 Vision for Cheaper, Cleaner Australian gas fuels.

“Two of those steps – to allow other lower emitting energy sources to be considered in the mix of green schemes as well as ensuring excise is at the 50% level promised by both parties – can help provide lower polluting, cleaner air fuels overall, and particularly a better solution for Australia’s pristine natural waterways like the Great Barrier Reef.”

“It makes no sense that we remain reliant on higher polluting and imported oil fuels when we have Australian made options that can help keep environments like our Reef cleaner.”

“It is ironic that in the Great Barrier Reef region, we have ships taking cleaner, lower emitting Australian produced LNG overseas from Gladstone, passing ships coming the other way importing higher polluting oil based fuels.”

“It makes better economic and environmental sense to ensure that programs designed to help the Reef and provide for a lower emissions future actually get the most efficient cost and emissions outcomes by allowing the right solution for each job rather than picking winners and losers that don’t always get the best outcome,” Mr Griffiths said.

More information about the Gas Energy Australia 2016 election submission and the 2030 Vision for Cleaner Cheaper Australian fuels can be found at www.cleanercheaperfuels.com.au

Media contact: John Griffiths 0439 344 622

View PDF here