Soon we will be paying double for our own gas, ignored by LNP

Remember readers the Liberal Party and the Labor Party are owned lock, stock and barrel by the gas and oil companies

15 August 2103: KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has challenged the would-be major party governments to prioritise the Australian people over profits for multinational resource giants and commit to reserving a percentage of Australia’s gas for domestic use.

Mr Katter said our industries, jobs and hip pockets needed urgent protection from looming massive power price increases commensurate with that paid by foreign buyers set to tap into Qld’s new gas export technology.

“This is a matter of national significance that should be front and centre in this election campaign, but don’t expect the major parties to bite the hand of the largely foreign-owned industry that feeds them,” he said.

Mr Katter said it was commonly accepted that Australian consumers can expect to four times current prices, to equal those paid by foreign buyers who are set to access the multi-billion-dollar liquification plants off Gladstone from 2014/15.

This means not only a significant cost-of-living slug to households, but also risks the viability of industries across Australia – from manufacturing to mining and food processing to fertiliser plants – which rely on gas to fuel their intensive energy needs, said Mr Katter.

“They’re writing contracts right now in terms of $9 a gigajoule up from $2-$3 a gigajoule,” warned Mr Katter after industry meetings in Mount Isa this week.

“The fertiliser industry, one of the most vital in any country, is already competing with countries that have a reserve policy to keep a percentage of the resource for the home market. But our mining industry, our steel industry, our food processing and manufacturing industries, and particularly the fertiliser industry… all are taking a huge hit on the major cost input of electricity.”

Mr Katter said base costs would explode Mount Isa – the hub of the world-class North West Minerals Province – which is not connected to the National Electricity Grid and reliant on expensive gas or diesel-powered energy.

“Yet we have the LNP’s would-be resources and energy minister last week telling people in Mount Isa – where for the first time in nearly 100 years there’s no more processing of copper – that their future is in more gas.

“Areas like Mount Isa could be very hard hit. But our government has married us into gas and now we are held to ransom by the gas industry.

“You only have to follow the money trail – now the federal LNP has refused to commit to $330m already on the table for the development of a nation-building clean energy corridor transmission link from Mount Isa-Townsville, and want more unconventional gas exploration instead.

“Just do the maths – it adds up to big profits for an industry almost entirely-owned by foreign interests and big losses for Australian householders and industries.

“The very least any responsible government would do as a basic duty of care to the country would be to safeguard people and industries by reserving some of the natural resources being exploited purely for the benefit of multinational corporations.”