Friday, 12 May 2023

Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, today lambasted the Government on its tricky Budget spin, highlighting the strength of the resources sector as the key driver of this Budget.

“This Budget is being funded by the continued strength of the resources sector, not by any Labor policies or actions,” Senator McDonald said.

“In fact, Labor continues to attack this critical sector and the communities it supports, whilst using the resources windfall to hide their reckless spending.”

Despite the warnings of the ACCC, AEMO, industry, energy market experts and the Coalition that more gas investment is needed to stave off future shortfalls, Senator McDonald highlighted that the Treasurer has slashed funding programs explicitly designed to promote investment.

“The Coalition’s $305 million Strategic Basin Plans was a cornerstone of our Gas-Fired Recovery, designed to invest in gas basins such as the Beetaloo, North Bowen, Galilee, Cooper and Adavale.

“Last Budget the Government cut over $54 million from this program, and now Labor has axed it completely.

“This now significantly increases the barriers to investment for gas exploration and production in Australia.”

Instead, funding has been redirected towards monitoring and enforcement programs – none of which will generate investment or supply.

“This Budget is yet another barrier to the gas industry, building upon market intervention, EPBC reviews, industrial relations upheaval, the Safeguards Mechanism, funding for the Environmental Defenders Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“These policies have slammed the resources sector, and by continuing to reduce support for the industry will only lead to less investment and less benefits in future years.

“Policy making for the resources sector must look to future years, as it takes at least five years for any projects to get close to first production.

“Labor has announced a big-spending, big-taxing Budget that will continue to deliver higher inflation, interest rate increases and worsen the cost-of-living crisis facing Australian families.

Julian Tomlinson – – 0421 059 187