Tuesday 24th Oct, 2017

Shorten backs gas over coal to solve energy crisis

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to move for increased domestic gas supply, instead of keeping aging coal power plants open, as the Government deals with rising tensions over the national energy crisis.

Shorten, quoted by Fairfax and Sky News this week, said the PM should do more to secure more Australian gas for domestic consumption, and should abandon his party’s efforts to keep coal power plants like AGL’s Liddell open.

“We are in the midst of an energy crisis and it’s mind-boggling the Turnbull Government is refusing to pull the gas export control trigger,” he was quoted as saying by Sky.

“[Turnbull’s] own regulations say this should’ve been done by September 1. What on earth are they waiting for.”

While the export controls proposed by the Government would work to increase domestic supply, and reduce energy prices, more should be done.

“Many Australian manufacturers and industrial users are unable to secure affordable long-term gas contracts and this is putting thousands of jobs at risk,” he was quoted as saying.

“Labor wants to give AEMO some teeth by fast-tracking reforms to improve gas market transparency, to help give Australian manufacturers a head start in gas contract negotiations, so Australian jobs come first.

“This is a crisis … Australian manufacturers need action on it right now, not in five years’ time.”