Hewitt junket keeps delivering for gas lobby

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Jennfier Hewitt‘s gas junket, paid for by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) delivers again today with another headline story bashing those in the way of gas development:

Colin Barnett insists he is a realist but he doesn’t easily give up on his dreams. Or on his threats to those who get in the way.

So rather than giving a polite welcome to the oil and gas industry’s conference in Perth and an optimistic talk about growth prospects, the West Australian Premier decided to provide thousands of delegates with a bracing lesson in hardball politics.

…He argued the gas industry there had got itself into a PR disaster and that it was a “hard narrative” to promote increased production and exports but falling domestic supply and higher prices for consumers.

“I’m a politician, I’m pretty good at selling a story,” he said. “I find that one tough to sell. You can’t say to people gas production is going up and by the way your supplies are going down and the price is going up.”

That is true enough and Barry O’Farrell will be cheering his new supporter across the country.

But Barnett’s real target for chastisement is in his home state.

That is because the Premier is still smarting over last year’s decision by Woodside and its partners in Browse to abandon any idea of building a liquefied natural gas plant at James Price Point near Broome.

That may or may not be true, but given Hewitt is only there because APPEA paid for the junket, the article should be appropriately discounted. I note as well that the disclosure makes no reference to  the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, only using the acronym.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

  1. Mr O’Farrell and his Woodside mates are going to be even more pissed off when East Timor gets to be legally able to put its footprint on the majority of the Jurassic strata of the Greater Sunrise basin, and probably have first taker advantage with the development of FLNG for the project. There’s another 40 billion tipped over the side for West Australia, all as a result of grubby politics. WW

    • If the decision from Brussels went that way the entire shebang would be tied up in legal action for years. The agreement was entered into in good faith with potential benefit to both parties. International development far enhanced by the Australian ownership.

      Re Barnett hardball, he’s a little peeved these days (any wonder) the timeframe is probably longer than the remainder of Barnett’s tenure…

      • sydboy007MEMBER

        Good faith. ASIO tapping the offices of the newly formed Timor Leste Government to get an idea of their negotiation position and strategy.

        We’d have been better off signing a fair agreement and helping them develop the LNG industry so they have the income to become a viable state and decent trading partner.

        Howard Govt did the deed, Abbott Govt doing it’s best to hide as much info on it as possible. Shame Snowden hadn’t been able to release it along with Rudds’ spying on Indonesia.