Joint Media Release - Higher taxes, slower approvals: Labor's future gas strategy - Thursday 16 May 2024

Friday, 17 May 2024

The Coalition condemns Labor’s last-minute deal to backflip on reducing red tape for Australia’s world-leading gas industry.

Labor’s deal will lock in higher taxes, slower approvals and will raise costs on our resources industry while giving no regulatory relief to boost investment.

Worse, the Albanese Labor government has voted against key elements of their own Future Gas Strategy just a week after Anthony Albanese told an audience in Perth that it signaled his commitment to Western Australian jobs.

This is a direct attack on Western Australia’s export industries that support jobs, and provide the tax revenue that funds Australia’s infrastructure, schools, hospitals and defence forces.

The Coalition was prepared to support the PRRT in exchange for regulatory relief for streamlined regulatory approvals, increased access to industry, research and development funding, and clarified consultation requirements for offshore oil and gas.

Coalition frontbenchers wrote to the Treasurer and Minister King with these requests in November last year.

Treasurer Chalmers told the Australian Financial Review’s Business Summit that the amendments his party has now voted against were a key response to the Coalition’s demands.

Rather than adopt the Coalition’s modest requests, supported by industry, Labor has now voted with the Greens against two of these measures.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said Labor’s deal with the Greens to gut their own bill to streamline approvals is a preview of what may come under a Labor-Greens minority government.

“Western Australia and Australia’s resources industry has been abandoned by this government less than a week after promising it a fresh start.

“This is an assault on one of our major export industries, and a clear indication Australian businesses and voters cannot trust a word this Treasurer or Prime Minister say.

“Labor has made it clear: the Greens are their preferred negotiation partners on tax and on economic management.

“After delivering a budget that was more about billionaires than battlers, Labor has voted for activism not Western Australian jobs. Labor has no solution to the cost of living crisis and has no long term plan to support jobs in our resources industry.

“The Coalition will continue to fight for reducing red tape on small businesses and our major export industries.”

Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Susan McDonald said that it was essential that Australia’s gas industry received the regulatory certainty it urgently needs, but Labor’s continued capitulations were delivering higher taxes, slower approvals, increasing the likelihood of blackouts and shortages in the coming years, and ensuring less gas and fewer jobs.

“Labor has today proven itself to be wholly spineless when it comes to gas policy for Australia.

“Not a week ago, the Labor Cabinet was trumpeting the vision of their Future Gas Strategy, yet today the Prime Minister has anointed Adam Bandt the Minister for Resources, allowing the Greens to direct the Government’s resources policy.

“Despite their own Future Gas Strategy outlining the vital need for regulatory reform to support more gas supply, it is clear that this Government is all talk and no action, with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet capitulating to noisy backbenchers and the Greens.

“All Labor has done today is vote for higher taxes, more red tape, and gas shortfalls.”