.

Geelong MP Simon Ramsay has defied his own party’s position on onshore gas reserves amid concern over rising power prices.
Mr Ramsay this week urged the Victorian Government to overturn its onshore gas moratorium and unlock onshore gas reserves to secure the state’s supply.
“I’m not for fracking, but I am supportive of conventional gas extraction,” the Western Victoria MP said.
“Dan Andrews needs to be sensible. I’m asking his energy minister to enable the state’s onshore gas reserves to be tapped where it is safe to do so.”
Mr Ramsay described Victoria’s renewable energy target of 40 per cent as unrealistic and called on the government to slow the shutdown of coal power plants.
He estimated it would take at least $3 billion to build the number of turbines needed to cover the loss of the recently shut Hazelwood power plant.
“Victoria must have a sensible energy mix of coal, gas and renewables as part of a national model,” he said.
“Rushing to a random renewable energy target is reckless without guaranteed supply. We must have a contemporary, sensible response that keeps the lights on and Victoria in business.”
But Mr Ramsay’s position goes against that of the Liberal Party, which supports extending the moratorium until 2020.
In 2015 opposition leader Matthew Guy declared his support for an Auditor General Report which stated that Victoria was not well-placed to lift the moratorium.
“The findings of the Auditor-General support our view that the case for an expansion of the commercial unconventional gas industry in Victoria has not been made,” he said.
Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio ridiculed Mr Ramsay for “embarrass(ing) himself with another ill-informed rant”.
“Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has publicly confirmed that he would not overturn the moratorium if elected to government – it has bipartisan support,” she said.
“(Mr Ramsay) doesn’t even know what his party’s position is and his estimates are flat out wrong.
“He also seems to believe that the only source of renewable energy is wind power.”
The independent national market operator had endorsed the renewable energy target, Ms D’Ambrosio said.
She said the renewables push would create up to 11,000 jobs and attract billions of dollars in new investment.

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