Gas reservation campaign launched

A coalition led by the Australian Workers Union has launched its Reserve Our Gas campaign, pushing for an Australian gas reservation scheme.

The Reserve Our Gas coalition, which also includes the ACTU, Alcoa and Australian Paper, hopes to ensure a “percentage of Australian gas is reserved for domestic use at a fair price”.

“Australia is the only nation on earth allowing exporters to extract our gas without restriction and sell it back to us at the global price,” said Scott McDine, national secretary of the AWU, in a statement.

“We currently have a situation in which our abundant gas reserves are hurting Australian jobs and households instead of helping them. That’s crazy and it’s no wonder no other gas-exporting nation allows it.”

The announcement cites the upward pressure that will be put on prices as new gas projects begin exporting LNG, tipping that prices per gigajoule will triple.

Also released today is research by BIS Shrapnel, predicting that prices increases could shut one in five heavy manufacturers in the next five years, cutting 91,300 industry jobs. 

The BIS research follows lobby group Manufacturing Australia’s claim that 100,000 industry jobs are at risk if action is not taken on gas prices and supply.

The Reserve Our Gas campaign’s website does not mention what percentage of gas it would like set aside for local use, or what it considers a fair price, ​though it cites Western Australia's 15 per cent gas reservation scheme as something that has been effective.

To read more on the campaign, click ​here.