Increased focus on domestic gas prices, gas reservation – Husic

Industry Minister Ed Husic has signaled that the government is focusing on the negative effects of high gas prices on the competitive advantage of Australia’s manufacturing sector.

Interviewed by Ross Greenwood on Sky News Business Weekend, Husic said he was concerned about a lack of competition and a “reduced ability to get competitive prices” for energy.

He said his colleagues, Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Treasurer Jim Chalmers, were “very aware of this”. There are currently good conditions for gas companies.

“I understand that the global demand for their product is high.

“But I have said publicly that I am very agitated about some of the prices that have been… leveled towards Australian industry, and in particular manufacturers who need access to affordable (gas). “

Greenwood said it was ‘stupid’ that Australia had some of the biggest gas reserves in the world and yet it was not just for Australians and Australian industry to make jobs easier and more available here.

Husic said, “And I think the focus will be more on that kind of mechanism.

“I think we’ve already flagged…we’re looking at the trigger that’s being used, how it’s being actuated.

“It’s a complicated question because the way it’s set up at the moment revolves around supply…and it’s not about extraction. It’s a question of price.

“And we need to get a fairer deal, a better deal for local industry.”

Husic said he understands gas companies want to do well when the sun is shining.

“But they can’t go off in a burst of glory and leave a smoldering wreck.

“They need to be very aware that their pricing decisions have a wider economic impact, especially from an industry perspective.

“And I’m not going to apologize for standing up for Australian manufacturers who I think are being hurt at the moment.”

Greenwood also asked about the instant asset write-off rules that expire on June 30, 2023.

Greenwood said: ‘So next year, in a constrained spending environment that the government is going to have, will that continue for business?

Husic said: “When we were last in government, we had this type of policy framework in place.

“Treasurer…he’s going to make a decision in the budget, so watch this space.”

Photo: Ed Husic

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Melvin B. Baillie