Victoria’s breakthrough gas plan must be be adopted by all to save Australian manufacturing

Wednesday 07th June 2017 0:00
The simple cap on gas exports being proposed by the Victorian government is the best model to save Australian manufacturing and should be adopted by all other Australian governments, according to the Australian Workers’ Union.
The Andrews Government has today announced it will take a simple export control policy to COAG on Friday: a cap on the total allowable gas to be exported above domestic needs. 
AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said the proposed Victorian model was the best means of saving Australian manufacturing from crippling energy bills. 
“Placing a simple cap on the amount of gas that can be exported is a very simple, elegant solution. It will provide Victorian manufacturing operations with the certainty they need to move into the future,” Mr Walton said.
“Under this proposed policy, Victorian manufacturers will be able to count on securing the natural gas they need to keep their factories open and jobs viable. Any gas left over can then go to export. 
“It makes no sense to allow Victorian gas to flow toward export when job-creating manufacturers need it at home. This new policy very clearly and decisively solves that problem.
“This is exactly the sort of model that the AWU and the Reserve Our Gas coalition has been arguing for since 2014. 
“A tax on tradeable LNG export permits, with the proceeds going to struggling manufacturers, makes sense as our industries struggle to deal with soaring gas prices in the near-term.
“Other states, if they are interested in saving their job-rich manufacturing sectors, should immediately follow suit.”
Mr Walton said the plan being proposed by the Turnbull Government did not go far enough. 
“The export control mechanism being proposed by the federal government was certainly a step in the right direction after years of wilful blindness to Australia’s gas price crisis,” Mr Walton said. 
“But Victoria’s simple cap mechanism is a superior  solution that will create genuine certainty that industry desperately needs.
“The Prime Minister and all Premiers should recognise this policy’s worth and adopt it across the board. It could be the single most important economic decision they will make this decade.”