Manufacturing push intensifies for gas reserves

The manufacturing sector has increased its push for gas reserves to be set aside, as it seeks to head off a price surge when gas exports from the east coast begin next year.

The manufacturing sector has increased its push for gas reserves to be set aside, as it seeks to head off a price surge when gas exports from the east coast begin next year.

A survey by Manufacturing Australia, which is worried about rising gas prices, found 54 per cent supported setting aside gas for the domestic market.

Gas explorers and exporters oppose a policy of so-called gas reservation on the basis that it is impracticable.

But Manufacturing Australia chairman Sue Morphet said: "Unrestricted gas exports will lead to gas price hikes for businesses and households, as well as putting at risk almost 200,000 manufacturing-reliant jobs. Australians will be forced to pay one of the world's highest gas prices, despite having one of the world's largest supplies."

The group wants about 700 petajoules of gas used to be excluded from export - that's about 1.5 per cent of proven and probable gas in reserves on Australia's east coast.

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