As many as 235,000 jobs could be lost and household gas prices triple over the next few years when gas exports from Curtis Island, near Gladstone, ramp up, according to a campaign kicked off today by the Australian Workers Union.
The campaign has won the support of Alcoa and Australian Paper, both big users of gas.
The market for gas will change dramatically next year because the exporting of gas will mean Australians will have to pay the global price for gas, which is about three times higher than existing prices.
The AWU used a Bis Schrapnel report to come up with the 235,000 job losses.
The exporting of gas will mean that companies will direct their business to the higher prices and domestic energy companies and industry will have to pay that price.
The campaign is aimed at forcing the state and federal governments to set up a domestic gas reservation policy so that there is enough gas set aside for domestic users.
“Foreign gas companies have convinced politicians to extract our gas and sell it back to us at the global price,’’ the AWU said.
It said Australia was alone among gas producing countries in not having a domestic gas price.