The new Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, and Shadow Minister for the newly created Climate Change and Energy portfolio have been announced.
Jason Clare has been appointed the new Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, taking over the role that was previously held by Gary Gray.
Mark Butler has been appointed as the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive, Dr Malcolm Roberts, has welcomed the new appointments and said it was important the new Shadow Cabinet supports policies that will attract investment and enhance Australia’s global competitiveness.
Dr Roberts said bipartisan support had been the cornerstone of the industry’s recent growth and the ongoing support of both major parties would be critical to its success in the future.
“The oil and gas industry has never been more important to Australia’s prosperity,” Dr Roberts said.
“An unprecedented $200 billion worth of new investment has Australia poised to become the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas – a cleaner-burning energy source that is critical to the world’s transition to a low emissions future.”
Dr Roberts said the industry is facing major challenges after the collapse in the international oil price and the emergence of new lower-cost competitors overseas.
“We cannot afford policies which undermine our global competitiveness. It is vital that both sides of politics support policies which reduce the cost of doing business in Australia,” Dr Roberts said.
“Converting Australia’s abundant supplies of natural gas into jobs, royalties and exports should be at the heart of our national economic agenda.”
Dr Roberts urged the Labor Party to reconsider some positions it had taken to the recent election.
These included its support for export controls on new LNG projects; extending the ‘water trigger’ to shale and tight gas projects; and raising the cost of investing in Australia by adopting a worldwide gearing ratio for interest deductions.
“It is also vital that all political parties understand the critical role natural gas can play in reducing Australia’s and the region’s carbon emissions,” Dr Roberts said.
“APPEA looks forward to working with the Labor Party to ensure natural gas continues to deliver for the economy and for the environment.”