Labor and Liberal ignore creating a Reserve Resource Policy
In media reports today, the Prime Minister said the revelations are “very concerning” and he’ll be holding an urgent meeting of chief executives of east coast gas companies to find out, “how they plan to address this threat to their customers.”
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter will be introducing into Parliament a Bill to enact a Reserve Resource Policy, (a policy where some of the gas is kept for Australians).
Mr Katter said, “We’ve already instructed the Parliamentary Draftsman to move on the Bill.
“We will be having discussions with a number of key players in the industry. We feel that there are at least three Government Members who will stand up on this issue.
“Almost every fertiliser producing country on earth (di-ammonium phosphate) has a Reserve Resource Policy. They get the ammonia (natural gas) for three or four dollars but Australian fertiliser companies are paying nearly 15 dollars.
“We have a steel industry with threatened closure, copper refineries closing, aluminium expansions abandoned, nickel refineries closed.
“And the Government’s answer is to call a meeting with Mr Foreign Gas Corporation? ‘Oh please, can you please give us some of our gas?’ We won’t be asking – we will be telling them!
“We will see if any of the LNP Members have the guts to stand up for Australian industry and Australian workers or if they’re going to be a bunch of cowards.
“The PM’s bleating is humiliating for all of ‘we Australians’ putting the begging-bowl out to giant foreign gas corporations who are not there to provide security of supply. They are there to maximise profits from the gas that we gave them for virtually nothing.
“It sure would be nice if an LNP person stood up on Economic Sovereignty where some of them will die in the ditches on social policy. It sure would be nice if they would show the same commitment on Economic Sovereignty and the morality of selling all of our resources to foreign corporations so that the southern states are left shivering in winter and the north swelters in summer. Neither can afford to pay the prices that gas owners (all foreign corporations) are charging Australians for their own gas.
“Huey Long, the 40th Governor of Louisiana was the most popular politician in human history. He introduced a Reserve Resource Policy on Louisiana’s gas so the people of the Louisiana were entitled to that gas for no more than the cost of production.
“In Qld under the much maligned Bjelke-Petersen Government, we had a Reserve Resource Policy. The bulk of Qld’s electricity came from overburdened coal which the Government took for free under a Reserve Resource Policy. Qld had the cheapest electricity in the world and we were the biggest mineral processing state on earth: aluminium, nickel, zinc, copper…
“Now Qld is on the National Grid and pays National Competition Policy prices and so we suffer the second highest electricity prices in the world.
“Successive governments have brought us to this impasse: no manufacturing, no mineral processing, and some of the highest electricity prices in the world.
“Pensioners can have a feed or turn the lights on; but they can’t do both. That’s of course when you can get the electricity to turn on. It will become increasingly unreliable.
“As Minister (in the QLD Government), we kept a 30 per cent spending reserve in electricity. We had transmission lines that enabled the 30 per cent reserve in almost every part of the state. We had absolute security of supply. We could lose six of our 22 major generating units and not a have single light out in Qld.
“Under national competition policy there is no guarantee of supply on the grid. Prices have gone up 300 per cent in 15 years. In the 30 years prior to that, prices only went up a little over 30.”
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.”