While the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) is arguing for the cancellation of gas export contracts, APPEA has warned that taking this approach could further damage the domestic gas market.
The AWU is urging delegates at this weekend’s Australian Labor Party (ALP) conference in New South Wales to support the forced cancellation of gas export contracts.
APPEA said that the gas reservation policy being pushed by the AWU would jeopardise future domestic gas supply, drive up energy costs for families, and ultimately cost union members their jobs.
“The AWU’s policy will not solve the problem of tight gas supply – it will make the problem worse,”? said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.
“Australia has ample gas reserves to supply domestic and international customers, but states such as New South Wales and Victoria have prevented gas exploration and development.
“Those same states are now complaining about tight supply and higher prices.
“Rather than seeking to cripple the LNG export industry with more regulation – destroying jobs in the process – the AWU should urge the New South Wales Labor Conference to reverse the state ALP’s opposition to responsible development of New South Wales’ unconventional gas reserves.
“NSW imports 97 per cent of its gas from interstate. Unless gas development is allowed to happen in the state, New South Wales will soon have no local production.
“This situation leaves customers in New South Wales paying a hefty, unnecessary premium for their gas.
“It means New South Wales is gambling that others states will always produce the gas needed for NSW homes and industry.
“The east coast gas market needs up to $50 billion invested to develop new supply to meet demand to 2030.
“Forcing gas exporters to cancel contracts would undermine Australia’s investment reputation and deter further investment.
“Instead of boosting domestic gas supply, it would mean less gas for Australian homes and businesses and fewer jobs.”?
Dr Roberts said Queensland showed the benefits of developing onshore gas resources.
“A recent report by Queensland’s independent GasFields Commission showed the industry was worth $13 billion to the Queensland economy last year, had more than 4,700 full-time employees and had made direct payments of almost $240 million to landholders,”? he said.
“Queensland really does provide a successful model which other states can follow.”?