WA Premier defends gas plan


10-15 yrs of supply left: The Premier has repeatedly warned that, under current contracts, WA’s gas supplies could run out within 10 to 15 years and households and industry may be forced to pay international prices for gas found in their own backyard.

"Big trouble" for economy if price rises:"We have got a huge dependence now on gas for our West Australian economy and if we allow … the contracted volume to just disappear, or, associated with that, the price to escalate beyond our ability to pay it, we’re in big trouble," Carpenter said.

It would cripple WA industries: "The LNG price has gone up steeply on the international market … if that price level continues to rise and West Australian consumers were forced to pay that, a lot of our industries would have to shut down.

Woodside’s not concerned with WA: "Woodside is looking at what prices they can fetch on the international market and saying, ‘Well, we don’t want to provide any [gas] for the WA market because we know we are going to get extremely high prices on the international market if we can get the gas out there in the right time frame’" he said.

The Australian Financial Review, 17/8/2006, p.61

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