The ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, has confirmed what industrial gas users have been saying for months: the Turnbull Government’s gas crisis will see industry closures and job losses.
Speaking yesterday Mr Sims said the gas crisis now represents “the worst-case scenario.”
“We thought the market was going to get tight but this is worse than we expect.
“Unfortunately the higher prices in the local market mean some manufacturers are likely to go broke, through no fault of their own.
“Companies will go out of business because of this and I think that will be a crying shame.”
What makes this worse is the fact that, as Prime Minister Turnbull has himself repeatedly said, the Federal Government holds the power to end the crisis, but under his leadership, is refusing to do so.
Prior to his first failed gas summit, Prime Minister Turnbull reminded the country: “"We [Federal Government] have the ability to control exports ... we have that power.”
He went on to say:
“I stress, we will not shirk from any measures that would be required, if all else fails, to protect Australian businesses, jobs and families.”
But after his second failed gas summit, and following confirmation today that the GLNG export venture is supplying almost 60 percent of its exports from re-directed ‘third party’ domestic gas, Prime Minister Turnbull still refuses to take any action to alleviate the immediate gas crisis that will cost Australian industry and jobs.
This Government does not know how to deal with either the electricity crisis or the gas crisis that they have let develop under their watch. All they can manage are talkfests, feasibility studies and reviews.
They are incapable of addressing either the national policy vacuum that has caused a private investment strike in private power generation, or the immediate gas crisis caused by domestic gas being re-directed to LNG exports.
Labor agrees with industry, experts and the states that an emissions intensity scheme is needed to provide a long term investment signal for new power generation. And we know that nothing short of a ‘gas swap’ arrangement with LNG ventures will address the immediate gas crisis hitting industry.
The Turnbull Government will go down in history as the Government that monitored and reviewed its way to ignoring vital national economic security.