Dan Andrews presses Albanese on gas reservation

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has thrown his weight behind plans to reserve a portion of Australian gas for domestic use following the lead of Western Australia which has had a reservation policy for years which has, in turn, suppressed domestic gas prices.

Fresh from an emphatic win in a state election Andrews was asked by David Speers on ABC’s Insiders whether he was prepared to shift his view on gas to deal with Australia’s energy crisis.

Andrews replied that firstly, when it came to energy the cheapest form of new energy was renewable energy.

He said: “That’s a fact – it is not a fossil fuel future that we need.

“On gas I am very encouraged, my discussions with Prime Minister Albanese have been very positive.

“We need a gas reserve. Our gas for our businesses and our households. That’s what’s really, really important.”

Andrews said what Australia did not need was to focus on exporting it to the world to get ‘the best possible price’.

Asked if he was talking about national gas reservation, Andrews said: “That’s exactly right. I would do a state one, if I could, but constitutionally we can’t.”

Speers: So you are talking to the Prime Minister about a national gas reserve?

“A national gas reserve or some other mechanism to control prices, these companies are making Australians pay European prices.

“Now yes there is a terrible war going on in Europe. We are not in Europe, we are a long way form Europe.

“Our gas ought to be for our households and our businesses first.”

Labor federally has been edging towards a gas reservation policy for the past few months as high prices and lack of supply cripple industry and threaten consumers budgets.

The WA government reserves 15 percent of onshore gas reserves for local use, however it, like Victoria, is unable to act on offshore gas reserves.

Federal Labor ministers have resorted to threats to the gas exporting companies and secured a promise to increase ‘supply’ locally. However this has not brought prices down.

The entry of Andrews, who is soon to become the most successful Victorian Labor premier into the debate, increases the chance of a national reservation policy.

Speers: Is the PM going to do that?

“That will be a matter for the PM, but I tell you what David, when it comes to energy policy we have a federal government and a Prime Minister who has an agenda.

“We’ve had nine wasted years and things are so much more challenging today because we’ve had a revolving door of energy ministers and no coherent energy policy.

“Albo is turning that around and that’s good for households good for jobs and really good for the planet too.”

Picture: Dan Andrews

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