It may satisfy the protectionist cravings of a few union leaders but it’s a bad policy that will punish one of our most successful gas export industries while doing nothing to boost domestic supply.
Australia’s gas industry is a global success story. Thanks to an unprecedented $200 billion worth of investment, we are on the verge of becoming the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
But the industry has been smashed by the dramatic collapse in international oil prices. Companies are under intense pressure to cut costs, thousands have lost their jobs and new investment is on the line.
To make matters worse, exploration has declined to alarming levels.
Right now, Australia needs policies that will encourage new investment. Labor’s policy will scare investment away. The party’s solution to east coast supply concerns is to saddle new or expanded projects with additional layers of red tape that duplicate many existing processes and will add time and cost.
Our competitors must be laughing.
The ACCC’s recent report on its inquiry into the east coast gas market is the latest in a series of independent studies and reviews that have rejected a national interest test along with other forms of gas reservation.
Labor says its national interest test is designed to shield Australian manufacturers from higher gas prices.