August 20, 2020 Read More →

Australian gas-fired recovery falling flat so far

The Saturday Paper:

If only saying something over and over again could make it true the Australian economy would by now be well on its way to a gas-fired recovery.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and even more notably his minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, have been using the phrase “gas-fired recovery” ad nauseam for many months now.

As has Neville Power, the mining executive hand-picked by Morrison in March to head the opaque National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, subsequently renamed the National Covid-19 Commission (NCC). Power and his fellow NCC members, many of them business leaders, were tasked with mapping Australia’s way out of the deep virus-induced recession. 

The tone was almost plaintive, and Bruce Robertson, gas finance analyst with the think tank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, thinks he knows why.

“Gas has lost its moment. It’s not a transition fuel. It’s been overtaken.”

Monday’s release by the ACCC was the ninth interim report of its long-running inquiry into gas prices in eastern Australia.

“And,” says Robertson, “they have taken several hundred thousand words to say the same thing each time. We pay too much for gas. And the government is doing bugger all about it.

“The ACCC knows there’s a gas cartel. The government knows there’s a gas cartel. The only way to fix this is a domestic gas reservation policy on all fields, existing and future fields, at a [lower] price.”

[Mike Seccombe]

More: Hopes of a Gas Boom Fizzle

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