The Queensland Government must respond to rising gas prices by setting its own gas reserve policy, Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter said.
“Queensland is responsible for a significant amount of gas production across our country, yet we aren’t giving our industries an advantage.
“Instead of reserving an amount for ourselves at reasonable prices for our industries, we sell it overseas causing prices to rise and limiting supply for local manufacturers and households.”
“The only ones benefiting are large multi-national companies who export the gas,” he said.
Mr Katter believes a portion of natural gas should be reserved for Queensland industry at a low cost, particularly in the North West.
“At the very least this should be considered for the North West which requires large volumes of gas to support industry and power supply,” Mr Katter said.
“A gas reservation mechanism would be consistent with the calls by the North West Minerals Province Taskforce who believe the province should be treated as a separate region.
“Forget just Queensland Nickel, businesses around the state are telling us they’re facing huge increases in the price of gas and uncertainty around future supply,” he said.
Mr Katter also heavily rebuked calls by Minister Frydenberg to simply open more gas fields to combat high prices.
“His argument is so wedded to these “free market” ideas he will smash his own economy rather than back down,” Mr Katter said.
“They have sold off our country’s competitive energy advantage in exchange for bragging rights as the world’s best free-marketeers” he said.
Mr Katter said he will be aggressively pursuing this issue with the Queensland State Government.
“The Queensland Government needs to be clear whether they would prefer to see our gas used to develop our value adding industries, or whether they’re happy for it to be exported to benefit a few multinationals”
“They talk about jobs, but the State Government appears to have little interest in ensuring that Queensland gas is used to support Queenslanders,” Mr Katter said.
“I think we would all prefer to see cheap gas available to domestic businesses to reverse the decline of our manufacturing and processing industries,” he said.