Senate debates

Tuesday, 31 August 2021


Gas Industry

1:49 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

[by video link] Total policy failure. When I see news reports talking about import terminals for gas, that's what I think: total policy failure. Australia exports two units of gas for every one unit that it uses domestically. Unfortunately, we export the cheap gas to competing Asian markets and we retain the more expensive gas for use here in Australia.

The ACCC is warning that the market price for gas has turned and we are going to see gas prices rise significantly over the next couple of years. This is despite a fall in domestic consumption. That tells you there's something awfully wrong from an economic fundamentals perspective. What's the cause? Well, it is not a shortage of gas. It is, firstly, exports—exporting gas at the expense of supply here in Australia. In 2018-19, $62 billion worth of gas was exported, and we got $1 billion in PRRT. So we're exporting it but not getting any benefit.

We've got a cartel operating on the east coast of Australia. We also have a monopoly in terms of gas pipelines. We have to do something about this. Firstly, we need to pool the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism to make sure there is enough gas here. We also need to look at things like a reservation policy, which the government have announced but haven't dealt with. We have a total policy failure when it comes to gas.


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