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Gas squeeze to threaten up to 83,000 jobs, overhaul demanded


Source: 13 April 2015

Manufacturers have called for an overhaul of the domestic gas market to ensure surging east coast gas exports will not squeeze supplies to large industrial users, resulting in a threat to tens of thousands of jobs.

Lobby group Manufacturing Australia says the sector will decline by $120 billion by 2021 unless this issue is addressed urgently, with projections also suggesting up to 83,000 direct manufacturing jobs are at risk.

Concerns that surging gas prices could force manufacturers to shift production capacity offshore has resulted in stepped up lobbying in a bid to push for increased transparency and efficiency of the gas market as price rises begin to bite.

The price of gas sold to households and small businesses is already rising and is forecast to increase by an estimated 7.5 per cent in 2015-16.

"Large industrial customers have a lack of confidence in the gas market for long-term supplies," the executive director of Manufacturing Australia, Ben Eade said.

"The impact is real, material and happening now."

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