Japan pays less for OZ gas because we have no Reserve Resource Policy
KAP member for Kennedy isn’t surprised by today’s reports that Australian gas is 40 per cent cheaper in Japan than in Australia, despite export costs.
Mr Katter said “Our mineral processing industries in Australia now are under very serious threat. They have announced twice the closure of the copper refinery in Townsville, we have the Qld nickel plant closed, and in Mount Isa they’ve closed a lot of refineries, why? Because they cannot afford the gas!
“It is the major expense in fertiliser productions. So all farming is at a huge disadvantage on the world stage. Every country on earth has a Reserve Resource Policy. Every fertiliser plant on earth buys gas for under $4 a gigajoule. We have to buy at world market prices at $14 a gigajoule. So how can we have a fertiliser plant in Australia? Well the fact is we can’t.
“We have 6,000 –7,000 people employed in fertiliser plants, 2000 of them are effectively in Mount Isa. How can we continue to pay $14 a gigajoule when every other competitor nation is paying $3 a gigajoule?
“Previously in Qld, we had the cheapest electricity in the world because we had a Reserve Resource Policy. One or two per cent of all coal in Qld we took for free. So we had the cheapest electricity in the world and that’s how we secured the aluminium industry. Now, we have only the second most expensive electricity in the world and I think it’s only a matter of time before we say, ‘bye-bye aluminium industry’.
“Do the State or Federal Governments intend on having a Reserve Resource Policy? No, not the slightest intension. They are interested in looking after the interests of every other country on earth and being big heroes as ‘free marketeers’ at the expense of their own people. Western Australia by the way, still has a Reserve Resource Policy.
“The gas industry is worth nothing to the Australian economy. The gas industry of Australia is 90 per cent foreign owned. The money comes in, we sell the gas, and then the money just boomerangs back out again. It’s not like the coal, copper or iron ore industry with massive employment.”