Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has condemned federal Labor leader Bill Shorten’s “anti-development agenda” following comments he made in Victoria today about sourcing gas for Victorian manufacturers.
“It’s clear Bill Shorten doesn’t have a clue about how to provide future gas supplies to manufacturers in his home state, despite the fact thousands of manufacturing jobs could be at risk,” Minister Canavan said.
“He looks to have adopted the Greens’ anti-development policy and on the one hand welcomes onshore gasfields being developed in the faraway Northern Territory but not right there in Victoria, where it could be easily accessible to manufacturers without higher transport costs.
“Mr Shorten is reported today as saying ‘conventional gas offshore is worth considering’ without seeming to realise it is the gas from Bass Strait fields that has given Victorian manufacturers a competitive advantage for decades.
“As gas from those fields winds down and becomes more expensive to produce, we need to be exploring for gas onshore in Victoria, something the Victorian Labor government has banned.
“Those bans will mean higher prices for all gas consumers in Victoria, and that means households as well as businesses.
“As Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims has said, the most realistic way to cut prices is to boost production of locally produced gas in the southern states.
“Never mind the Northern Territory, the best long-term solution for gas supplies to Victorian manufacturers and Victorian families is to explore and develop gasfields in Victoria.”