Activists often try to frighten people with their talk of ‘ecological catastrophe’ and the ‘industrial wasteland’ supposedly created by natural gas drilling.
“At last there are glimmers of hope on the energy price and supply front.”
So said experienced and highly respected business and economics commentator Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian newspaper this week.
Why? Because he has detected a change in the way politicians are responding to rising energy prices and the gas-supply crunch facing Australia’s East Coast.
Victoria’s Liberal and National parties have changed tack – and backed natural gas development.
Some of Australia’s most experienced independent energy economics analysts came to a similar conclusion this week: the East Coast needs more gas; and current policy settings federally and in NSW/Victoria are not going to solve the problem of gas supply and rising electricity prices.
ERIC Director Steve Wright comments on the responses of the NSW and Victorian Governments to calls for the removal of State bans on gas exploration and development.
If the chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims is right, then Australia is about to take the almost unprecedented step of interfering with export contracts to redirect gas to the domestic market.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has increased pressure on Victorian Labor with a strong endorsement for natural gas as a key element in solving eastern Australia’s power problems.
Victoria’s irrational anti-gas stance may be starting to crack. This week the Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, urged Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to “turn on the gas taps”, as The Australian put it.