Professor Idiot: Gas reservation “bad”

Doggerel from Associate Professor, Bond University. AKA Professor Idiot:

With the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) warning consumers of huge price hikes ahead, further calls for the federal government to pull its so-called “gas trigger” seem inevitable.

But that could be a very big mistake – leading to the type of trade dispute Australia fought for years against Big Tobacco over plain packaging laws.

The gas trigger (officially the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism) was created by the Turnbull government in 2017 when there were fears of a gas shortage in eastern Australia.

It allows the federal resources minister to direct gas exporters to limit their gas exports or find new sources of gas to meet domestic demand instead of exporting gas overseas.

…Among other things, Philip Morris claimed the labelling regulations indirectly expropriated its brand assets, intellectual property and goodwill associated with its products. Australia eventually won the dispute, but at a reported A$24 million cost along with internal expenditures.

So, avoiding a legal dispute costing peanuts should be a greater priority for the government that ending a $50bn energy gouge of every household and business east of WA by an untaxed foreign cartel.

Nuff said.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Forget the cost of fighting it, the bigger question is whether he is right about the risk of losing.

    I would have thought there would be an easy way around this for the Aust govt.

  2. pfh007.comMEMBER

    The Associate Professor does provide a helpful reminder of the dangers of signing up to Free Trade Agreements with those ridiculous ISDS clauses.

    “..In that circumstance, foreign-owned gas companies could use free-trade agreements to take Australia to a notoriously expensive “investor-state dispute settlement” process to claim compensation for what is known as indirect expropriation…”

    Not that China or most of our trade partners seem to pay any attention to them as they understand those clauses are only there to keep the easily frightened and spineless in line.

    Which of course is a particularly accurate description of most of our political class who fawn acceptance from the international free trade corporatist brotherhood and thus clutch their pearls if anyone suggests we should ignore stupid clauses that should never have been agreed to in the first place.

    If our partners to those FTA’s are confused about our position send them a telegram and let them know so they can pull the plug on the FTA if they feel they need to after notification that we will no longer observer the ISDS clause.

    • Oh Totes where art thouMEMBER

      The Associate Professor does provide a helpful reminder of the dangers of signing up to Free Trade Agreements with those ridiculous ISDS clauses.

      I was thinking the same thing.

  3. Ne never made it past associate in private practice law because he was terrible.

    So he became an economic refugee, no Aussie law firm picked him up so he went into the abyss of academia.

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