LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pauline Hanson said Australia has the weakest oil and gas laws in the world, and it is costing all of us billions of dollars in lost income. Pic: Matt Taylor
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pauline Hanson said Australia has the weakest oil and gas laws in the world, and it is costing all of us billions of dollars in lost income. Pic: Matt Taylor

Hanson announces bill to shake up oil and gas industry

AUSTRALIA has the weakest oil and gas laws in the world, and it is costing all of us billions of dollars in lost income.

Australia is the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, yet we as a nation earn very little income from those exports.

These destructive laws have been exploited by clever corporate lawyers who have locked up our reserves for the likes of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips.

Gas sourced from our own natural reserves is now sold more cheaply overseas than we can buy it here.

It's ironic that Australian gas provides China with 10 per cent of its total energy needs while Australians themselves can't source enough of this valuable energy source.

In 2004, rebates for exploration work and claims on expenses were introduced by the Government, enabling the foreign mega-companies to stockpile $360 billion in tax credits (to date) for their operations.

The credits are able to be rolled over, year after year, meaning Australia will never be compensated for oil and gas taken from the north west shelf.

Readers can imagine the benefits to every Australian if multinational oil and gas companies were forced to pay a fair level of tax on our resources that they extract and sell off overseas.

Better and cheaper availability of our natural gas would provide a reliable source of power for Australian industry, which would help our manufacturing and the economy.

I believe the "legal theft" of our oil and gas needs to stop.

How can we turn the economy around more effectively if we give up these massive funds without a fight?

This week, I introduced a Private Senator's Bill to ensure future exploitation of oil and gas reserves is carried out for the benefit of the Australian community.

The Bill will force multinationals who hoard gas leases to "use them or lose them" to companies that will proceed to extract the gas for the use of Australians.

My Bill would also put an end to floating drilling and production platforms that are anchored to the seabed avoiding paying compensation through the domestic gas reserve policy in Western Australia.

While my Bill won't change the failed tax laws (only the Government can do that), it is a baby step in the right direction to start counteracting the massive and unacceptable losses suffered from the sale of our oil and gas.

 

Senator Pauline Hanson

One Nation Leader

Senator for Queensland



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