Dametto fights for energy security
QUEENSLAND and Australia must secure its energy supply for future generations instead of selling everything off to the highest bidder, warns Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.
Speaking on Katter’s Australian Party leader Robbie Katter’s Private Member’s Motion on energy supply in parliament on Wednesday, Mr Dametto said successive State and Federal governments had failed their citizens “all the way back to when we started pulling minerals out of the ground”.
“Instead of doing what the United Arab Emirates did and pull their oil out of the ground and make a brilliant profit out of selling it to the world market, we took the lazy option. We let private companies from overseas come into our country, pull our minerals out of the ground and we took a lazy portion of royalties off the back end. That is what we have in Australia,” he said.
“We should not be arguing about where the money to fund our hospitals, roads, local governments and things like that come from. This parliament and the Federal parliament have failed the people of Australia by not capitalising on the resources that are owned—and should be owned—by the Australian people, not sold to the highest bidder overseas leaving us a small royalty to take off the bottom.”
“Significant damage” had been done over decades by crippling gas prices, Mr Dametto said.
“Previous governments have cost Queenslanders its energy competitive advantage and we have missed out on tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars because we cannot get cheap power and gas to those places wanting to do these jobs. I have heard of refineries and other places in New South Wales that have explored other options when their power purchase agreements for gas have run out,” he said.
“One company in particular has gone back to burning coal, which is viewed in Australia as a dirty product because they cannot obtain cheap gas. We should be moving towards cleaner energies and better opportunities. Unfortunately, we are going backwards because of failed policies from the past that we have had to live with.”
Mr Dametto referenced a recent conversation he had with University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas Director Professor Andrew Garnett, who said future gas markets will be driven by demand and not policy.
“By 2050 we will have about 10 billion people on this planet who will want our coal, our renewable energy, our hydrogen and our natural gas,” Mr Dametto said.
“If we do not have the protections in place to ensure that Queenslanders and Australians can afford that product in the future, we will have failed our children; we will have failed the generation that comes after us and we would have given up our competitive advantage when it comes to being able to produce and conduct local manufacturing and refining here in Australia.”