The Albanese Government’s new deal with gas giants Woodside and Esso to supply Australia’s east coast with gas is a win for local manufacturing and households, said the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU).
The government should pursue more of these enforceable supply commitments with other gas companies, which have been fast tracked by the government’s new Gas Market Code laws which came into effect in July last year.
A reliable supply of sensibly priced Australian gas is essential for working families, manufacturers, where it is used as an irreplaceable feedstock and for power, and to ensure peaking and firming in the renewable energy market as it builds to full strength.
And if that means opening up new gas fields, on or offshore, the government needs to do it especially as existing gas wells in the Bass Strait dry up.
If Australia is to reach the government’s 82% renewable target by 2030 we need to realise the remaining 18% is likely to be gas given it is more flexible than coal as it can be turned ‘on and off’ more easily.
AWU National Secretary Paul Farrow says the union has long pushed the major parties to do deals similar to what the Albanese Government has just inked with Woodside and Esso.
“Since 2010 we have urged politicians of all stripes to reserve a portion of our Australian gas for Australians, for households, manufacturers and to ease our transition to renewables, and now finally someone has listened with a legally enforceable deal,” said Mr Farrow.
“Everyone wins from this deal, working families get sensibly priced gas to cook dinner, manufacturers get an irreplaceable feedstock, and our renewable energy market gets the peaking and firming it needs as it builds to full strength.
“Every Christmas BBQ I went to people raised cost of living pressures, what better way to cut bills than making more of our own Australian gas available to Aussie families?
“Manufacturers desperately need certainty when it comes to gas, especially those like plastics manufacturers who don’t burn it but use the chemicals in gas to make products, or those who need gas to reach very high burning temperatures for chemical processes, for them it’s an irreplaceable resource.
“If Australia, and our regional neighbours in Asia, are going to get to net zero emissions we’re going to need a flexible fuel like gas to ease the transition to a fully renewable grid well into the 2040s.
“This is why we need to see new gas developments opened up on and offshore.
“These deals with Woodside and Esso join the two inked last November with Senex and APLNG, we need to see more legally enforceable deals with other gas producers operating in Australia.
“Many LNP governments have tried to fix this problem of shoring up Australian gas supplies to Australian households and businesses.
“In 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 various LNP governments tried and failed, so it's great to see the government’s new Gas Market Code laws which came into effect in July last year starting to bear fruit,” said Mr Farrow.
Contact: Paul Farrow 0405 285 547