A former Liberal premier says the election of Anthony Albanese as prime minister is likely to lead to a “decade of Labour” in power, adding that his old party is in a “desperate state” at the federal and state levels.
- Colin Barnett says the Liberal Party needs a new generation of future leaders
- He also called for a cross-continental gas pipeline to deal with the high prices.
- He says the gas market WA . has been operated improperly outside
Between 2008 and 2017 WA Premier Colin Barnett said the Liberal Party needed to modernize itself by recruiting a new generation of future leaders.
Mr. Barnett remarked in an interview with ABC in which he called for the construction of a cross-continental gas pipeline and the adoption of a domestic gas reservation policy for eastern states, which helped WA avoid crippling prices that crippled the industry. and construction sector.
“The Liberal Party is in a desperate situation,” Mr Barnett told the afternoon briefing.
“And I think Australia is probably looking at a decade-long Labour scenario, and so is Western Australia, so this is a bad time for the Liberal Party.
After the Liberal Party lost five of its 10 WA seats in the May 21 federal election, Labor suffered a 10.4 percent swing, which picked up four additional seats: Haslak, Pearce, Swann and Tangany.
Curtin’s blue-ribbon seat was lost to independent Kate Cheney.
In the March 2021 state election, the Liberal Party was reduced to only two of the 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, in an extraordinary 17.7 percent landslide swing for Mark McGowan’s Labor government.
‘The gas is from Australia’
In WA, both the Labor and Liberal parties support a policy of gas reservation, under which 15 percent of the gas produced must be set aside for the domestic market.
No other state or territory has such a policy.
This means that while bulk gas in WA is between $5.50 and $6.50 per gigajoule, it is $40 per gigajoule in the eastern states, when the regulator slapped producers with a price cap.
About 90 percent of Australia’s gas reserves lie off the north-west coast of WA, with most of the large gas fields in Commonwealth waters.
“So Western Australia has a long-term reliable supply of gas because of the existence of gas and also because of the reservation policy,” Mr Barnett said.
But the former prime minister said the gas market in the rest of Australia was operating flawlessly.
“Simply put, the gas is from Australia,” said Mr. Barnett.
“Australia’s policy of giving gas and energy security to major cities, South-East Australia, has been very inefficient indeed for the past 15 years. Long-term planning has not been done.
“At the moment, gas prices are high because there is a gas shortage in Australia, but a medium to long term solution is simply to increase the gas supply, and I would suggest using gas from the west coast and also developing some gas from the east. resources on the coast.
“It needs a long-term solution. But for the next few years, some short-term measures will have to be taken and it may limit or reserve that gas for the domestic market.
“Companies will not like this because their profits, their big earnings, come from exports. About four times the amount of gas used in Australia is exported as LNG.”
Mr Barnett said Australia should commission a gas pipeline between the Mumba gas fields in WA and South Australia to boost domestic supplies.
“We need to do what other countries around the world have done and that is building a trans-Australian gas pipeline,” he told ABC.
“It will be a huge project and an expensive project, but it is one that will pay for itself and can be done fairly easily by private enterprise. Most of the continents around the world have inter-continental pipelines like Americas, Europe and so on “
He estimated such a pipeline would cost around $6 billion, but said Mr Albanese could approach it as a “big nation-building project”, funded by the Australian Superannuation Fund.
“There are no mountain ranges along the way, no real obstacles, and a pipeline will go from the north-west coast of Western Australia, across Nullarborough and into the Mumba gas field area in South Australia and then more widely through the east Will be distributed. Coast through existing pipelines.”
He said that during his prime minister’s time, a 1,500 km, 132-inch pipeline between Pilbara to Kalgoorlie was built in 10 months.
“So if today the decision was made to go the way of the Trans-Australian Pipeline, it would take three years – the big delay would only be the purchase of steel pipes,” he said.
“And Australia, being such a big producer of international gas, really should be doing it for its people.
“After all, this is Australia’s gas.”