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‘It’d be like the grazing industry converting to veganism’: Matt Canavan slams Labor’s gas policy

Luke Grant

Tension is mounting between Bill Shorten and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, as the two butt heads on gas policy.

The Federal Opposition Leader is urging Andrews to reconsider the state’s moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration, saying if Labor wants to secure cheaper energy prices, Australia needs to have sufficient domestic gas supplies.  But Andrews is refusing to budge, neglecting the fact that 51% of Labor voters support lifting gas restrictions if it will lead to lower prices.

With Australia the second biggest exporter of gas, home to 257 trillion cubic feet of the resource and yet still on the precipice of a predicted gas shortage, Resources Minister Matt Canavan says something has got to change.

“States like Victoria, they’re locked up,” Canavan explains.

“There is not allowed to be any drilling across Victoria, including even conventional gas exploration and extraction techniques. It’s absolutely mad.”

If Australia is to end the energy price madness, fixations on renewable energy ideology need to be set aside for the reality that pragmatically, we cannot discard coal and gas from a technology agnostic energy mix.

“We have an abundance of energy supply below the ground – gas and coal. But if we don’t bring it to the surface, we’re not going to have cheap energy.”

“The countries that develop their resources and provide cheap energy, they wind up having more productive industry that pay higher wages.”

“So the ALP’s policy is a bit like if the entire Australian grazing industry converts to veganism. We’re not standing behind our product. A country that is the largest coal exporter, shouldn’t have a phobia against using coal-fired power.”

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Luke Grant