The Australian (18/01/2023) confirmed a new reality most of us have feared; the cost of household gas prices on the east coast of Australia has reached levels that were previously considered as just a worst-case scenario in promises made by federal treasurer Jim Chalmers.
Even worse, retailers have announced their plans to increase prices by a further 20 percent starting next month. Analysis of current market offers from Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia shows prices have increased by 30 percent in Queensland, 22 percent in New South Wales, and 19 percent on average across the country.
This significant increase in gas prices can only be attributed to Labor’s intervention in the energy market through the passing of its Treasury Laws Amendment (Energy Price Relief Plan) Bill 2022. This bill, which was pushed through by the ALP, Greens, and Teals Senator Pocock, was met with criticism for its lack of oversight and public scrutiny. Furthermore, the bill has been accused of favouring failed industries such as wind and solar at the expense of the productive gas industry.
Senator Hanson and I voted against the bill because we knew the ‘intervention’ would result in higher gas prices.
In a few short months families across Australia will rely on gas for heating. Those families that use gas to warm their houses, especially renters, will be plunged into energy poverty, just like half of Europe during this northern winter. People’s lives and health are at risk.
The increase in gas prices not only affects consumers and their households, but also businesses. As the cost of gas increases, it leads to higher prices for goods and services, which in turn affects the economy. The rising cost of energy also puts a strain on small businesses and manufacturers, making it difficult for them to compete in the market.
The gas industry plays a crucial role in the energy sector, and it's essential for the government to stop its promotion of renewable energy sources and instead back a stable and affordable gas supply. The government's intervention in the energy market should strive to find a solution that benefits all Australians, not just select industries.
What’s most troubling is the government's intervention in the energy market has not only affected the gas industry but also created uncertainty and political risk for other industries. The government's changing policies and regulations can make it difficult for businesses to plan and invest in the future. This not only affects the energy sector but also has a ripple effect on the entire economy.
Recent increase in gas prices is a cause of concern for most Australians. It has the potential to destroy our economy. The government's intervention in the energy market through the passing of its intervention bill has had a negative impact on the gas industry and has led to higher prices for consumers and businesses. It's crucial for the government to re-evaluate its policies and find a solution that will benefit all Australians, not just select industries.