AWU to push for renegotiation of all Australia’s gas export arrangements at Labor conferen

Friday 28th July 2017 0:00

The Australian Workers’ Union will bring a motion to the floor of NSW Labor conference this weekend, calling for the ALP to immediately unite behind a policy that would require a renegotiation of all Australia’s gas export agreements so a portion of gas extracted would have to be set aside for the domestic market. 


According to the motion: “The Australian Government must immediately renegotiate its export arrangements with multinational gas companies and impose clear and effective controls on gas exports.”


AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said he had listened to manufacturers around the country who are warning of closures over the next 12 months if the Turnbull Government’s weak ‘Domestic Gas Security Mechanism’ is left in place, instead of a proper reservation policy. 


“The manufacturers we work with, big and small, are truly alarmed. They are telling us unambiguously that Malcolm Turnbull’s gas plan is too timid, too complex, and will not help them in time,” Mr Walton said. 


“A set portion of the gas we extract from Australia, must stay in Australia, to sell to Australians. 


“This gas crisis has not crept up on us. We have been sending warnings for years, but they were ignored. But this is now crunch time: gas contracts are doubling, tripling, and more. Factories will close across the nation if they can’t get access to affordable gas. 


“The government has been too slow to realise this is a drastic situation that demands real leadership. 


“The government needs to drag the gas exporters to the table and renegotiate the arrangements the government has with them. They now have to decide what is more important: abstract notions about sovereign risk or Australian jobs and Australian families.


“We could solve any electricity crisis if we had enough affordable gas to supplement other sources of energy. But we need a clear, uniform cap. 


“No complex mechanisms, and no 12 month evaluation periods, just a simple cap like dozens of other nations have. That’s what we will be pushing both major parties to adopt as a matter of real urgency.


“We currently have a situation where China and Japan and paying less for Australian gas than we are. That’s a horrible joke and we can’t accept it a minute longer.”


Contact: Anil Lambert 0416 426 722