Australian's deserve cheap and reliable gas!

24 March 2017

Most of you would have heard about Australia’s Gas problems, with South Australia experiencing power blackouts on numerous occasions during this summer due to energy shortages and storms. The South Australian government recently added that the Energy regulator has not being doing its job properly!

Another problem that Australians have been facing which is connected to the above issue relates to large multinational gas companies selling off our gas overseas in large volumes and for cheap prices.  This has resulted in limited gas reserves for Australian consumers and gas being sold locally at extremely high prices.

Australia has huge natural gas reserves- the largest in the Asia-Pacific region! Western Australia is the largest producing state in the country, followed by Victoria, Northern Territory and Central Australia. So there should be no reason why the Australian government cannot guarantee Australians access to cheap gas!

The ACTU, other unions and consumer groups have been lobbying the federal government to do something about the predicament that the average Australian has found themselves in. Well, we have some good news for you! 

Our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, recently announced that gas companies will be pressured to reserve Australian gas, for Australian use, at a lower Australian price. On Wednesday the 15 of March, the Prime Minister promised Australians that the government would work toward making reliable, secure, and affordable gas a reality!

In a statement to the media Malcolm Turnbull has warned that gas companies risk their “social licence” to operate without reservation quotas if they fail to supply Australian domestic industry. Mr Turnbull added that the federal government had “considerable power” to control exports, but said his aim was to “ensure we have action from the gas companies”.

Although we have made significant progress in this area, we need to continue to pressure/lobby the federal government to introduce legislation that forces the large gas companies to do the right thing by Australian’s and reserve gas for Australians first! We cannot let our guard down and trust that the large companies will do the right thing. 

In Unity

Kamal Bekhazi

Research & Projects Officer

Health Workers Union