WA blocks gas to the east

Via ABC:

A decision by the WA Government to ban onshore gas exports to the east has been labelled a “betrayal” of Australian states struggling with gas shortages by the state’s former premier, Colin Barnett.

Premier Mark McGowan came under fire from industry groups this week after updating WA’s domestic gas policy to prevent onshore gas extracted from WA being sent to the eastern states or overseas.

The announcement came despite a Government decision to give an exemption to a project north of Perth that is associated with WA’s biggest media proprietor.

…A former energy minister in the Court government, Mr Barnett also criticised the ban on onshore gas exports to the eastern states, which has been grappling with tight supplies that are sending some manufacturers to the wall.

The former premier has advocated building a transcontinental pipeline to supply the east coast with WA gas in a bid to deal with the problem, although a Federal Government inquiry found such a project would be uneconomic.

“I find the policy really quite strange,” Mr Barnett said.

“To ban exports of gas from Western Australia to the east coast I just think is un-Australian.

“It’s an appalling policy to adopt.

“Western Australia basically is the world’s greatest source of LNG exports internationally, and that’s a big industry.

“But why would we stop Australian gas going to the east coast?

“I just cannot believe a state government would do that — to discriminate against other Australians.”

Industry group, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), bemoaned what it said was a lack of consultation.

“We would think that by cutting off a potential market for an onshore development, you could in fact end up in a situation where that development does not go ahead because it’s not commercial,” APPEA director Claire Wilkinson said.

Mr McGowan fended off the complaints by saying WA faced a gas shortage later this decade and needed to shore up supplies.

The Premier has also defended his treatment of Waitsia, saying the decision to give it special status was motivated purely by job considerations.

“The reality is there’s a project that’s very shovel ready and we want to get it underway and we want to get the jobs involved,” Mr McGowan said.

“At the same time, we have a longer-term issue which is the shortfall of domestic gas in the future.

“We’ve had to balance all of those issues very swiftly and very quickly and that’s why we’ve come up with the policy we have.”

Australian-based energy advisory firm EnergyQuest’s chief executive, Graeme Bethune, said the Government’s clamp on gas exports would effectively destroy the chances of an east-west gas pipeline.

According to Mr Bethune, this would not prevent the export of West Australian LNG to markets in the Eastern States — which he argued was always a cheaper option.

He agreed WA could be affected by a supply crunch within a decade if mega LNG projects such as Woodside’s Scarborough and Browse fields were not developed and able to provide to the local market.

However, he said the Government’s decision to grant an exemption to Waitsia amounted to “picking winners” and could deter investment in other onshore gas projects which would not enjoy the same privileges.

Gas cartel champion, Bethune, whining about “picking winners”. Not for the first time, MB wishes there were a fourth law of thermodynamics governing the spontaneous combustion of extreme hypocrisy events.

This is a horrible decision but it’s entirely understandable. Why should WA see its sensible domestic reservation policy plundered by the atrociously inept east? Obviously, the east should install its own version of it.

When is the WA secession vote is what I want to know.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


      • SA, NT and perhaps QLD should join. The capital can be Betoota, home of Australia’s oldest and favourite newspaper.

        • This is an excellent suggestion. Why not create a new non-parasite Australia, and make up it’s entire history, largely by taking the piss? We can have an entire government portfolio devoted to exporting sarcasm, mockery and satire. We’ll get Sammy J in to run it.

          Vote 1 Club Buggery!

          • Unofficial Australian’s can include Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, Jonathan Swift and Kurt Vonnegut. There shall be a statue of Clarke and Dawe out the front of parliament. The Philosopher’s Beer Drinking Song can be our national anthem, and it always needs to be sung by either a Bruce, or an honorary Bruce. The new ATO and Anti Corruption Commision shall be the most powerful government bodies. Real estate bodies shall receive massive fines for reporting misleading figure. No vendor bids and if the auction passes reserve then the buyer gets it at that orice. Capture economic rents, keep the masses happy with a citizen dividend of sorts. No super, no private health insurance. Pfh007 can be the head of the reserve bank. I’m sure there’s plenty of other stuff but I think that’s an ok start.

          • Can you imagine the amount of foreign aid we would then have to shovel to SE Specufester Land to stop it becoming a 3rd world sh*thole on our southern doorstep ………. or build a big beautiful wall !!

      • PaperRooDogMEMBER

        Maybe they can see that the Canberra gas cartel lackys would use it to lock the rest of Australia into the outrageous gas rort by actually raising west coast gas prices instead of reducing east coast prices!

      • Man….that lockdown is playing with your head, DLS. Your views on WA have turned completely. Good to see.
        For those old enough to remember and care:
        So watchout all you know-alls
        All you wisemen from the east
        Cause you’ll get more than just a footy game
        You’ll get a West Coast Eagles feast!

  1. When is the WA secession vote is what I want to know.

    When we have something other than Xi Jinping’s nipple to suckle on?

  2. bolstroodMEMBER

    All the fuss and coniptions about this outdated, dangerous and expensive fuel , methane.
    Let us move on to the future and leave these stranded fossil fools to wither and die, and move to100% renewbale clean energy.

  3. The WA premier has just pulled the pants of the Federal, NSW and Qld governments’ down and made them run around the camp fire ten times as the Australian people watch on, popcorn in hand.

    WTF is Colin Barnet on about, what a peanut!!

    I love that its fast becoming clear that domestic gas reservation policy is all that is missing from Australia’s East Coast market…

  4. From wiki:
    A secession referendum was held on 8 April 1933 in the Australian state of Western Australia, on the proposal that the state withdraw from the Australian Federation.[1] The proposal won a majority of the votes and a petition to give effect to the decision was subsequently sent to the British Parliament, where a parliamentary joint select committee ruled it invalid.

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        I think that for over 70% of it’s history, more revenue has flowed INTO WA than out of it. WA has commodity booms and every time there is one the local governments and population spends up big and gets into debt and then the commodity boom stops and they are left with a bunch of debt. So the rest of the country props up WA the rest of the time.

        Can you see different behavior this time round?

        • you’re kidding yourself! WA economy is supporting our ToT nationally… not much help from any other state right now either!