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No shortage of gas - just a shortage of common sense

31 January, 2020
No shortage of gas - just a shortage of common sense Image

“There is no shortage of gas in Australia, there’s a shortage of common sense in Canberra when it comes to gas export policy and domestic gas reservation policy,” says Member for Barwon, Roy Butler.

Mr Butler’s comments follow the new energy deal struck by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“Australia exports so much gas there’s not enough at a reasonable price domestically - this hurts the hip pocket of families and businesses.

“As a country we have surpassed the rest of the world to become one of the biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas. The government has supported this to happen all while our energy prices in Australia have soared.

“The government needs to be putting Australia first, if we don’t we’re going to end up in a ludicrous situation where we’re extracting gas and liquefying it in Australia - using massive amounts of energy in that process, sending it overseas, and for that country to then turn around and sell it back to Australia at an increased price,” said Mr Butler.

“This does absolutely nothing to decrease energy prices for Australian consumers.”

The current government handling of gas exports has done absolutely nothing to stem the meteoric rise of energy prices for Australian consumers according to Mr Butler.

“There’s a glut of gas on the international market, prices for gas in Australia have continued to rise. This goes against the market trends, and points to total mismanagement by the government.

“I don’t know if it’s incompetence or wilful ignorance that the State and Federal Government have manufactured a crisis. We have substantial energy generation capacity in Australia - it’s just being managed poorly by every level of government,” said Mr Butler.

Mr Butler’s vast north west NSW electorate includes the Narrabri Shire, “the Narrabri Shire, and many Barwon communities rely on groundwater to survive. The extraction of gas from coal seams places that very water at risk,” said Mr Butler.

“Government talks about jobs and industry, but we have not seen a well head price, nor is there any off take agreement.

“With the worst drought in living memory, we have out of touch city based politicians  pushing to place the very water we rely on at risk. The risk may be small, but they are  very real, and the consequences are enormous. We can’t put the Genie back in the bottle if we compromise groundwater.”

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