Manufacturers push for domestic gas reservation

The manufacturing sector has intensified its push to have gas reserved for domestic use. The industry is hoping to alleviate the affects of the expected price rises which will occur when gas exports from the east coast begin next year.

The Age reports that Manufacturing Australia commissioned a survey which found that most Australians support a gas reservation policy.

Manufacturing Australia chairman Sue Morphet said,  ''Unrestricted gas exports will lead to gas price hikes for businesses and households, as well as putting at risk almost 200,000 manufacturing-reliant jobs. Australians will be forced to pay one of the world's highest gas prices, despite having one of the world's largest supplies.''

According to the Australian, the survey found that 35 per cent of people said it was "quite likely" and 13 per cent "extremely likely" that it would sway their decision at the election if a party made a policy pledge on the issue. 21 per cent of respondents were uncertain.

The government has rejected the idea and gas explorers and exporters also oppose it because they say it is impracticable.

Earlier this year, the Coalition's energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane said that the Opposition opposed a blanket gas reservation policy. However, he added that "acreage reservation for domestic production on new projects" was a possible approach which the Coalition would take to the issue.

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