Friday, 4 August 2023

Australian households are being smashed by skyrocketing energy prices which are higher due to Labor’s ham-fisted energy market interventions, the Cost of Living Committee has heard.

Representatives from some of Australia’s biggest gas producers have today confirmed that energy price increases have been a direct result of the investment environment created by the Albanese Government’s policy interventions.

ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Santos, Shell and Woodside Energy told the Committee that the Labor Government’s continued regulation accounted for “layer upon layer of regulation,” causing higher costs to flow on to consumers at the end of the day.

One witness described the investment environment as “change on change on change,” which would flow directly to individual consumers and industry.

Woodside Energy’s Executive Vice President told the Committee that while historically Australia has been seen internationally as a secure investment environment, this was eroding by continued changes to regulatory settings.

ExxonMobil’s Commercial Director also highlighted the Labor Government’s sudden intervention in the gas market through a price cap as the reason why Australia’s reputation as an attractive place to invest in the energy industry has deteriorated.

Senator the Hon Jane Hume, Chair of the Cost of Living Committee, said the evidence confirmed that Labor’s energy intervention has failed and Australian households are paying the price.

“We know the key to getting the price of energy down is to increase supply, it’s basic economics.

“Australia has an abundant supply of natural gas, but Labor’s regulation and mismanagement makes it harder and more expensive for companies to invest to get that supply to market.

“At a time when Australians are being smashed by skyrocketing energy bills, it beggars belief why Labor would enact policies which discourage increased supply when it is key to bringing down prices and easing cost of living pressures,” Senator Hume concluded.

“Today’s hearings have confirmed that Labor’s interventions are causing delays and driving up costs for gas projects, costs which are being forced onto consumers across Australia at a time they can least afford it,” said Senator Susan McDonald, Shadow Minister for Resources.

“We need more investment in gas for more supply to keep prices low and avoid blackouts, but this Government is set on driving investment away from Australia, leaving households and businesses high and dry,” Senator McDonald concluded.