NSW Premier Chris Minns has announced that New South Wales will not follow in Victoria’s footsteps by banning gas connections for new homes. The decision comes after the Daniel Andrews government in Victoria declared that starting from January 1, no new homes would be permitted to use gas for heating or cooking. The government in Victoria claims that this law will help the state reach its emissions target while providing annual savings of $1000 to households.
However, Premier Minns expressed his disagreement with the gas ban, stating that it would only exacerbate the existing energy crisis in NSW. In an interview with 2GB radio host Ben Fordham, Minns revealed the severity of the challenges the state is facing in the energy sector. “We need gas for industry, and we have baseload power coming offline in the next few years without enough renewables entering the system,” he explained. Given these pressing issues, Minns believes adding another complication or policy change is unnecessary.
Interestingly, Premier Minns’ stance against banning gas contradicts remarks made by his energy minister, Penny Sharpe, who emphasized that electrification plays a vital role in achieving NSW’s emissions goals. However, Minns argued that the situations in NSW and Victoria are different, citing the disparity in emissions caused by gas between the two states. “Only seven percent of emissions in New South Wales result from gas, whereas Victoria has double the amount of emissions as a result of gas,” he pointed out.
While Minns acknowledged that electricity is more cost-effective than gas, he also emphasized that householders should be able to make their own decisions about their energy sources. His viewpoint reflects the belief that providing choice to consumers is important in such matters.
The announcement by Premier Minns highlights the divergent approaches taken by different states in Australia concerning gas usage in new homes. While Victoria is implementing a ban to reduce emissions, NSW is prioritizing the need for gas in its energy system and industry. Both approaches have their merits, and it will be interesting to observe the outcomes and impacts on emissions reduction strategies in the long run.