'Bizarre': Industry on war path with union over mass LNG exports

THE gas industry has hit back at claims long-term export contracts should be renegotiated to help the nation get through its "energy crisis".

The Australian Workers Union has launched a campaign calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to pressure multinational gas exporters to supply more LNG to the domestic market.

The campaign aims to push Mr Turnbull to call on gas giants to renegotiate their contracts, to help power Australian industry and ease manufacturing pressures.

The campaign takes aim at gas giants, including those who own the three $70B LNG projects at Curtis Island.

"Australia finds itself in a bizarre situation where despite producing a record amount of gas we are paying the world's highest prices at home," the AWU wrote in an online letter.

AT WAR: Gas industry's chief lobby group claims domestic gas reserves are
AT WAR: Gas industry's chief lobby group claims domestic gas reserves are "uneconomic".

Gas in Australia now costs more than it does in Japan, South Korea and China, the AWU claims.

They claim Australia is the only nation allowing gas giants "unrestricted access to domestic gas reserves for export".

But the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has defended the industry and said it was uneconomic for the industry to renegotiate international export deals.

Meanwhile the Australian Workers Union, which held its national conference this week, continue to push the Australian Government for a gas reservation policy.

"This is driving up energy prices, eroding national competitiveness, closing businesses, destroying jobs and hurting communities," they wrote.

APPEA chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts has defended the industry, saying it could do little to save Australia from its "energy crisis".

"We need billions in investment to unlock new gas supplies but the AWU's approach would kill investment overnight," Dr Roberts said.

"There is no shortage of gas which can be developed to supply all of our local and export customers.

"Just as our agricultural industries have the capacity to supply export and domestic markets, so does Australia's east coast gas industry.

"Our LNG exporters are also the major suppliers to the domestic market.

"People concerned by the impact of higher gas prices on local customers should be arguing for the removal of unnecessary restrictions on developing new resources, not more heavy-handed regulation."

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