A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australia’s energy needs are put first, introducing measures to boost local gas supply, put downward pressure on gas prices and protect Australian jobs.
At the moment, there is no requirement for the Liberals to pull their weak and ineffective gas trigger when prices are too high. This is putting Australian manufacturers under pressure and risking local jobs.
We don’t want local jobs to go overseas with our gas.
That’s why Labor will introduce a permanent gas export control trigger, that can be pulled when gas prices are too high, not just when a gas shortfall is forecast.
If prices are too high – based on a benchmark set by the ACCC – then the trigger can be pulled to enact export controls. This can include putting third party gas supplies back into the domestic market to drive down prices, rather than allowing them to flow overseas.
Labor will also:
Boost supply for domestic use by introducing a National Interest Test that applies to all new LNG export facilities or significant expansions of existing facilities. This would mean that domestic use will be a consideration in the approval of these projects. The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions will also be strengthened, encouraging companies to develop gas reserves rather than just sitting on them with the contracts rolling over.
- Give the ACCC new powers to monitor prices and crack down on anti-competitive behaviour in the gas market that causes inflated prices, and to make the market more transparent and competitive.
Labor’s plan will put downward pressure on gas prices for Aussie manufacturers and power generators – which is good for jobs and good for households.
Labor will establish an expert panel, the Domestic Gas Review Board, to oversee the application of the National Interest Test and the permanent gas export control trigger.
We will work with manufacturers and industry on the implementation of Labor’s plan to build a sustainable gas industry, including an export industry, that operates in our national interest and puts Australian jobs and gas users first.
Labor is acting, because we’re focused on protecting local jobs and making energy more affordable.
The Liberals have been too divided and focused on themselves to take the strong action needed to act on Australia’s energy future.
They have preferred ineffectual and unenforceable handshake agreements with gas exporters to real action to strengthen our local industry.
Last year the Liberals set up a weak temporary trigger to control gas exports and didn’t even pull it despite Australian manufacturers still paying more for gas than the ACCC says they should be paying.
The ACCC’s Gas Inquiry Interim Report of December 2017 set a benchmark price of between $6.55 a gigajoule and $9.93 a gigajoule, but Manufacturing Australia says its members are being quoted prices of between $10 and $12 a gigajoule
Even the Minister for Resources admits high gas prices are putting pressure on local manufacturing jobs, saying:
"I accept that prices of $10 are a great threat to jobs and manufacturing; prices of $8 are also a threat to jobs and manufacturing." Minister for Resources Matt Canavan, 25 Jul 2018, AFR
Only Labor has a plan to give Australian gas users a fair go and protect manufacturing jobs from high gas prices.