The Reserve Our Gas coalition will not apologise for pointing out Australia is the only gas-exporting nation on earth allowing a free-for-all on the export of its gas. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) today called for a retraction.
The Reserve Our Gas coalition, initiated by the AWU and supported by a range of partners including Alcoa and Australian paper, is campaigning against the projected explosion in Australian gas prices due to the ramping up of LNG exports. Australian gas prices are projected to triple over coming years as a result.
All gas-exporting nations, except Australia, have either a gas reservation scheme - in which a portion of gas is reserved for domestic use at a fair domestic price - or equivalent statutory requirements aimed at ensuring local industry and consumers are not disadvantaged by exposure to the high global price for gas.
AWU National Secretary and Reserve Our Gas spokesperson Scott McDine said an apology would not be forthcoming.
“Let me make this absolutely crystal clear: Australia is the only nation on earth allowing multinational gas companies to extract our gas - without restriction - and sell it back to us at the high global price,” Mr McDine said.
“Every other gas exporting nation has measures in place to stop local consumers and local industry from perversely getting penalised for exporting gas. Israel, Indonesia, Egypt, and many others use a gas reservation policy. The USA and Canada have strict ‘national interest’ tests applied to every new gas extraction operation. Norway, Russia, Malaysia and others have their gas extracted by a state-owned company to ensure control. Australia is the odd one out by leaving consumers and industry completely exposed to the global price for gas.”
Mr McDine noted that since launching one week ago, the Reserve Our Gas campaign had received overwhelming support from the public, with outraged reaction over the nation’s current gas policies flowing in via the campaign website and social media.
“Australians have every right to know why their gas bills are projected to skyrocket in coming years. They have every right to know that this will cause one in five heavy manufacturers to close. And Australians have every right to know that all this pain could be prevented by adopting measures that are already used by every other gas-exporting nation in the world,” Mr McDine said.
“Those representing gas exporters want to paint this as a with-us-or-against-us issue and I reject that entirely. Australia can and should have a thriving gas export industry, but we don’t need to burn local consumers and industry in the process. Every other nation on earth manages to strike a balance. There is no reason why we can’t as well.”