In order for Australia to become energy self-sufficient, the DLP supports:
- the exploration and development of new and traditional forms of power generation;
- the establishment of a national oil and gas reserve; and
- the preservation and conservation of a domestic capacity to refine oil.
Our energy resources such as natural gas and oil are the property of the Commonwealth and states, and therefore the people of Australia. Australian governments licence exploration companies to extract these rich resources from the ground. No company has a sole right to sovereignty over these resources, or a right to dictate whether a government can or can not legislate to protect essential services or supplies such as natural gas for domestic and industrial use.
AGL and the NSW Government have confirmed that when our natural gas domestic contract starts to expire from 2016, NSW and other states that do not have a reserve supply will be at risk of shortages. Multi-national companies have repeated the call to resist any pressure to have any domestic supply reserve protection. They want to send all national gas and other resources overseas to make record profits. This is the reason why some industries and governments are pushing Coal Seam Gas Mining. Western Australia is the only state which currently has a 15% domestic natural gas reserve policy in place to protect their citizens from a lack of supply in the future.
The Democratic Labour Party will ensure that Australian people and businesses have a domestic natural gas supply reserve. This will prevent overseas multi-nationals sending all extracted natural gas and other resources out of the country, placing our domestic supplies, industries and us at risk.
Until other alternative energy supplies become available, oil refining is a national energy security matter. No country can allow all oil refining to be done offshore. In times of peace it is not an issue, but in times of war, it would be too easy for foreign powers to turn the tap off and cripple our country.
Therefore, the Democratic Labour Party will review current closures of oil refineries across Australia and consider if our national security is at risk. If so, review ways to maintain the presence of refineries in Australia.
All licensing contracts will have a clause inserted supported by legislation to ensure that the Australian people are protected from high prices for domestic gas and other resources essential for living, and that there is a domestic supply pricing structure.