Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter says the gas problem faced by Eastern and Southern Australia won’t be solved by a couple of LNG companies giving vague promises to meet domestic supply.
Mr Katter’s comments come after prime minister Malcolm Turnbull met chiefs from Origin and QGC where they promised they would supply more gas into the domestic market though Mr Turnbull gave no details of how much supply or when it would be made available.
Mr Katter said Australians needed to know exactly what this commitment meant.
“Although the Prime Minister’s action in getting some commitment out of the companies is a good starting point, it is a baby step towards solving the structural issue our economy faces,” Mr Katter said.
“The issues are far longer term than just providing some high priced gas to fulfill current demand.”
The issues are far longer term than just providing some high priced gas to fulfill current demandRobbie Katter
Mr Katter said gas was one of the most important tools for stimulating economic activity.
“We’ve found ourselves in a position where we’re destroying economic activity because none of the major parties would address this issue when it was raised many years ago,” he said.
“I stood up in parliament on a number of occasions asking both the previous LNP Government and the current Government to address the risks and none of them acted.
“We knew in the North West the dangers facing the mining industry at the time.”
Mr Katter said a long line of domestic users, particularly large industrial users in north west Queensland, warned the Government of this risk.
“This is why a Reserve Resource Policy was one of the KAP’s top three priorities presented to the Government at the beginning of this parliament,” he said.
“We’re currently looking at legislative options to ensure the long term development of our own economy is a priority over the profitability of these large LNG companies when it comes to using our gas.”
“Given how complex this issue is we need broad consultation and bipartisan agreement. I’ll be initiating a gas reform consultation process inviting the Premier, Minister, and Leader of the Opposition, major gas users and gasindustry representatives to meet to find ways of resolving the issue.”