Voters can now elect a government that will manage our gas in the national interest

Wednesday 18th May 2016 0:00

The Australian Workers’ Union has congratulated the Australian Labor Party for committing to a national interest test on all new significant gas projects, instead of handing absolute control over the nation's gas reserves to multinationals.

The AWU has been leading the Reserve Our Gas campaign – a coalition of community, business and union groups – that has been pushing for the federal government to legislate and create the option to reserve natural gas for domestic use at an affordable price if it is deemed in the national interest.

The campaign comes as gas prices spike around the nation, applying huge pressure to household budgets and manufacturing jobs.

Today, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has announced a Shorten Labor Government would introduce a national interest test in a similar mould to the schemes in place in the USA and Canada.

AWU National Secretary Scott McDine said Australians now have a clear choice when it comes to managing our natural gas resources.

“Australia’s abundance of natural gas is a gift that belongs to all Australians,” Mr McDine said.

“Yet under the Liberals, Australia finds itself the only developed nation on the planet which allows gas exporters to extract our gas and sell it to the highest international bidder without any restriction whatsoever.

“As a result, Australian households and industry are being forced to match the highest international prices for our own gas. We have a very real risk that manufacturers could leave our shores and head to places where our own gas is sold cheaper than we can currently get it for. This is a ludicrous situation and that’s why we are extremely pleased that a Shorten Labor Government would legislate to address it.

“A national interest test makes total sense. Any multinational wishing to extract and export our gas should first be scrutinised to ensure that their plan will not heap pressure on Australian households and Australian jobs. It’s good enough for the Americans, it’s good enough for the Canadians, and it should be good enough for Australia.

“Anyone who is concerned about rising gas prices, manufacturing jobs, or our sovereignty over our own natural resources now has a clear choice on July 2: your vote can be one that hands complete control of our gas to multi-national gas exporters; or your vote can be one that will see responsible management of our resources in the national interest.

“On behalf of the Australian Workers’ Union I would strongly urge all Australians to endorse a policy that is smart and sensible, and direct their vote accordingly.”

 

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