Tuesday, 11 July 2023

The Albanese Government’s gas code announcement shows Labor has inserted themselves into the driver’s seat of a vehicle they don’t know how to drive, and are continuing to meddle in the gas market.

Labor’s track record on managing Australia’s gas market has been hopeless and their promises have been hollow. They promised that energy bills would be reduced by $275, but energy prices have only gone up.

After initially promising its price control market interventions would be temporary, Labor has broken another promise by making them permanent in this Code.

Acting Shadow Treasurer, Senator Jane Hume said the announcement is just another example of Labor’s economic plan not working, and it will be Australians who pay the price.

“Australians are facing a cost of living crisis under Labor, and they are crying out for a plan from their Government to get things under control.

“Labor’s continued missteps on energy, and inability to secure much needed supply will only put the long-term interests of consumers – and their hip pockets – at risk,” Senator Hume said.

Shadow Minister for Energy, Ted O’Brien said the Government’s announcement provides no solutions to bring new supply online, despite warnings from AEMO and the ACCC that new domestic production is vitally needed to stave off shortfalls.

“We know that new supply is the only meaningful-long term solution to deliver lower gas prices for Australians, but we have seen no plan from Labor to increase supply.

“Despite repeated warnings from the Coalition, market experts and our international partners, since coming to power, Labor has taken action after action that risks destroying supply,” Mr O’Brien said.

Shadow Resources Minister, Senator Susan McDonald, said the Albanese Labor Government has failed to explain how this policy would work in the long-term interests of Australians, without curbing investment in critical new supply.

“AEMO has already identified the price controls as a key uncertainty impacting new investments in supply, and yet Labor has baked them in permanently,” she said.

“The code risks disincentivising investment further, with significant Ministerial discretion to make different rules for different companies, creating additional ambiguity.

“This announcement will only heighten concerns of Australia’s trading partners who want confidence that the government will back the gas industry because their own energy security relies on it,” Senator McDonald said.

“Yet this Government has significantly damaged our international reputation as a secure investment destination and reliable energy supplier, with key partners voicing serious concerns about the Government’s policy direction.

“They have torn up plans to develop new gas basins, cancelled funding for critical gas infrastructure, put new gas projects under review, given taxpayer funds to activists to engage in green lawfare, and introduced punitive measures specifically targeting new gas supply under the safeguard mechanism.”