5 September 2018

Manufacturing Australia: statement on ALP gas measures

Manufacturing Australia welcomes the announcement by the Federal ALP that it would, if elected, implement a range of measures intended to reduce gas prices for domestic customers.

Despite the fierce public debate, our major political parties now agree more than they disagree about gas.

There is broad bi-partisan and State-Federal political agreement that gas prices in Eastern Australia are too high and are bad for the broader Australian economy.

There is agreement that the long term solution is to increase supply – including in South Eastern States nearest to customers – increase suppliers and increase competitive tension in the domestic gas market.

There is agreement that the market, as currently structured, is unlikely to deliver that soon enough to prevent business closures, job losses and lost investment, so there is a role for careful government and regulatory intervention.

Our major federal political parties agree that we need gas export controls, both as an important safeguard and as a bridge to longer term measures.

They agree the ACCC needs to understand and reveal the true cost of production for Australian gas, and to determine what constitutes a reasonable benchmark gas price for domestic customers.

And they agree that stronger “use it or lose it” enforcement, both onshore under State jurisdiction and offshore under Commonwealth jurisdiction, should be part of the policy response.

With so many hard fought principles now agreed by our major political parties, Manufacturing Australia urges Federal and State Governments, and Oppositions, to work together and put these measures into action.

These are not easy measures to implement, but they are in the national interest. 

The bottom line is this: if we want a diverse Australian economy that includes manufacturing and other high value-adding industries, and if we want a smoother transition to lower emissions energy generation, we need competitively priced gas.


Contact: Ben Eade, Executive Director, 03 9023 9117