World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Australian economy exposed on high oil prices

Govt leaves Australian economy exposed on high oil prices: Greens

The federal government has left Australia exposed to a serious economic shock over the cost of oil, Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said today.

"Treasurer Peter Costello has expressed surprise at how long oil prices have remained high and says continuing high oil prices could cause economic problems for Australia," Senator Milne said in Hobart.

"But the signs have been evident for all to see. At an international level, for every 2.3 barrels of oil used, only one barrel is discovered while Australia's domestic oil supplies are falling and no new major oil fields have been discovered in the past 20 years.

"The Australian Petroleum Exploration and Production Association estimates that within 10 years Australia's oil self-sufficiency will fall from 65% to between 20% and 30%, widening Australia's trade deficit by about $30 billion per year.

"The federal government has had a decade to prepare Australia for a future based on dwindling oil supplies but it has failed to take seriously the reality that the era of cheap, easily accessible oil is over. Global politics and finite supplies are converging to generate a crisis.

"I moved for a Senate inquiry into future oil supply and alternative fuels because it was clear to me that energy security is urgent and critical and not on the Howard government radar. It is yet another intelligence failure of the Howard government.

"Whilst Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello have been lulling Australians into complacency and facilitating the use of motor vehicles and the construction of more and more highways, European countries have been assessing their vulnerability to an oil constrained future.

"They have been providing incentives for the development of alternative fuels, regulating for fuel efficient vehicles, investing in public transport and increasing fuel charges to encourage conservation and the search for alternatives.

"Countries such as China have locked up long-term oil supply through contracts with oil-producing countries. Australia seems to have overlooked the fact that most oil is owned by nations and that owing to geo-politics, Australia may not be able to buy overseas even if oil were available and we could afford to purchase it.

"Even US President George Bush has recognised the problem. Sweden has announced a plan for an oil free future by 2020. What is Australia's plan to oil proof the country?

"Prime Minister Howard can no longer put off the difficult decisions Australia must face."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC