Mussel producer explains Australia’s gas lunacy, shames ‘experts’

By Leith van Onselen

It’s amazing that mussel producer, Michael Harris, understands the lunacy of Australia’s gas policy better than Australia’s policy makers. From The ABC:

Mornington Peninsula mussel producer Michael Harris is usually focused on growing the biggest and tastiest molluscs in Victoria.

So finding himself in the middle of the debate about Victoria’s gas shortage was unexpected.

Yet here he is, wondering why AGL plans to build the country’s first gas import facility near his mussel farm, at a cost of $250 million, despite Australia being the biggest gas exporter in the world.

“It couldn’t be any more farcical. How can we be shipping off our resources and then buying them back,” he said.

Of chief concern to him and other worried locals is the environmental impact on Western Port Bay and plans by AGL to discharge chlorinated water back into the sea…

“I don’t have a science background, I just know things from what I’ve done and what I’ve seen. But the more I look into this … the more I’m concerned,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s going to bring gas prices down for customers”…

Yes Michael, Australia’s gas policy “couldn’t be any more farcical”.

We’ve allowed a monstrous cartel to overtake east coast gas reserves. This economic abomination has limited gas supply into the local economy and jacked-up prices.

Therefore, the most realistic and low-cost way to cut domestic prices is to simply apply retrospective domestic reservation. This can be done at the stroke of a pen.

Building LNG import terminals would be an unmitigated policy disaster. All they will do is guarantee the east coast pays the Asian price plus the cost of the importation plant. In other words, we will pay for digging up the gas, piping it, freezing it, shipping it to Asia, then back again, unfreezing it, and piping it locally. This is truly moronic.

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  1. Dont you mean ” In other words, we will pay for digging up the gas, piping it, pretending to freeze it, pretend to ship it to Asia, then back again, pretend to unfreeze it, and piping it locally. ” There is no reason that the gas cartel will maintain anything more than a charade as it costs money to do the whole freeze/ship/unfreeze part and that comes from the profit margins….

    • Yeah, but think of the +ve GDP impact of building the import terminal.

      Pollies are not as dumb as ya think 😉

  2. The role of “economic theory” today is to provide a plausible cover for blatant exploitation. I don’t think the “punters” believes this anymore…

    • They don’t, but the problem is parasites from Trump to Boris to Admiral Palmer were the first to notice the wind change direction and they’re making a motza from the political chaos.

  3. Let’s make Michael Harris the prime minister.

    He doesn’t seem like a d!ckhead. And he has a job that actually produces something. That puts him way way ahead of any of the last half dozen PMs for sure.

  4. Energy royal commission will exclude gas from its terms of reference just like the NEG design group was not allowed to address gas.
    The presence of too much LNG capacity is 100% to do with high energy prices.
    Everything else is a rounding error.
    Until 2 of 3 LNG trains go broke the electricity sector will enjoy or suffer from high wholesale prices.
    2 of 3 have to go broke since even Australians aren’t stupid enough (on average) to give up their sovereignty over water (and therefore food production) in exchange for the economic crumbs that flow from unconventional gas extraction.

  5. “It couldn’t be any more farcical. How can we be shipping off our resources and then buying them back,” he said“.

    Well it is quite clear that this idiot who is in the primary production business and sells his output in an open, competitive market simply doesn’t get how things are meant to work. He doesn’t get that one should strive to rig markets, clip tickets and extract rents. The dumb stupid moronic idiot.

    • Dead set, thinking about this moron and his idiotic molluscs get me so mad, who the heck does he think he is? Does he have mates that work for the government entities who regulate his business? Is he even smart enough to manipulate the system so those people are basically working for him?

      For fucks sake, this nobody doesn’t even have the brains to attach himself to an industry that is capable of putting the nation over a barrel!! Has he ever tried to hold a town, or region, or state, or country hostage? How is he going to do that will bloody mussels!! What a dumb person.

  6. Culture matters.

    Problem: Australia is reliant on gas prices for its power production and must achieve a balance between domestic needs and export income.

    Culture One: Australian gas is our gas as nation, therefore we should have the right to reserve a portion of it in order to meet the needs of Australian society.

    Culture Two: Reserving gas over-rides the rights of an individual (embedded in Corporate personhood) to sell their product at the best available price.

    Culture maters – from which cultural background do these differing values arise? Which culture believes in a social contract and which culture elevates the needs of the individual in primacy to all other factors?

    Culture One use to be Australia, where do the values of culture two originate from? How have they come to be injected into our society? From what schools of thought, and from which culture do those schools of thought originate from?

  7. Who would have thunked? A normal bloke understands more than the useless technocrat caste? The number of such people I personally know is astounding. They are like a plague in Sydney and Melbourne:

    “Oh I did a double in law/international relations and a masters in nobody-give-a-rats from Oxford”
    “Really, you were to Oxford?”
    “It was this amazing summer course with a two week tour of England and online coursework.”
    “The thing that excites me most is how most of International Relations Law has not been written. We need to strengthen the ICJ, don’t you think?”
    (no way this is worth it, going home and finding some tissues and computer) …

    They are the most self absorbed tards, who think because they read the economist last week, there is literally nothing about the world they do not know.

    Prostitutes for power, with a life aspiration to becoming pimps for power. Its so unbelievably sad.

  8. What makes you think our policy makers “don’t understand” it?

    I think they understand it all to well. Ask yourself how a bunch of people who are, for the most parts, professional parasites, and have never held a substantive job outside of politics, number so many multi-millionaires among their ilk?

  9. Actually I’m just eating for lunch a few mussels I just bought from Michael at Flinders jetty where he sells his produce. Small

  10. IN the not so long ago
    some of the lead and copper from mt isa was sent back to us
    via the barrel of a rifle.
    looks like we dodged that bullet