Division within the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party continues to show that not even Daniel Andrews’ own party supports his senseless anti-gas approach.
This week, former Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten said on the ABC’s Insiders :
"You can’t have a manufacturing sector…unless we have low price energy…I think gas does tick some of those boxes."
For once, Mr Shorten is right. The manufacturing sector needs gas to survive. This is even more crucial given the sheer number of manufacturing jobs Victoria has lost. A once-proud manufacturing sector formerly employed almost 400,000 Victorians. That number is now only 293,000.
Mr Shorten took a $1.5 billion policy supporting new gas supply and pipelines to the 2019 Federal Election. He joins other Federal Labor MPs like Matt Keogh and Victorian ALP Senator Kim Carr in supporting the gas sector.
Most tellingly, Federal Labor’s own Resources Spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon, this week welcomed increased federal government support for gas projects, putting him at odds with Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese.
Mr Fitzgibbon has previously said that Victorian Labor’s gas policies “make neither economic nor environmental sense.”
Joel Fitzgibbon also noted we need gas “to meet our aspirations to reduce carbon emissions, to cushion the impact of the decommissioning of our older coal-fired generators, and to keep our manufacturing sector alive.”
Mr Fitzgibbon is right, more gas production will lower emissions whilst helping also industry.
The Liberal Nationals have a positive plan to get Victoria Back to Work and Back in Business, a plan that includes the immediate scrapping of Labor’s moratorium on conventional onshore natural gas exploration and establishing a $1 billion “Bringing Manufacturing Home” fund to encourage manufacturers to locate their facilities in Victoria.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables, Ryan Smith:
"Even Daniel Andrews Federal Labor colleagues know that gas is essential to supporting Victorian manufacturing and lowering Victorian emissions.
"Victorian Labor must immediately remove their moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration; waiting another twelve months will cost jobs."