1. GAS CRISIS 2. WHISTLEBLOWER REVELATIONS 3. SUBMARINES

27 April 2017

Senator Xenophon will discuss:

GAS CRISIS
Whilst the Government’s moves to potentially restrict export licences are welcome (being consistent with a deal struck with the Nick Xenophon Team over company tax cuts), Nick says that “the litmus test of success is for domestic gas prices to get down to the effective price being paid for our gas that is exported to Japan – which is around $5 per gigajoule (when the cost of transporting and liquefying the exported gas is taken into account).” 

Nick’s comments have been backed by gas industry expert Bruce Robertson from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, who is based in Sydney.

“We are mugs and an international laughing stock if Australians are paying more for gas here than the price of Australian gas being sent overseas. Right now it’s approximately double the price of what is being paid in Japan, or four times the price when you take off the cost of exporting and liquefying the gas,” Nick said.

“The Government’s move is of course welcome, but if we don’t sort this out under that benchmark not only will electricity prices continue to skyrocket in Australia but we can kiss goodbye hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs."

WHISTLEBLOWER REVELATIONS
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services is continuing its inquiry into whistleblower protections today in Melbourne which came about as a result of negotiations with the Nick Xenophon Team to lock in whistleblower protection reforms to the corporate and public sectors by next year. 

The changes already implemented for registered organisations (unions and employer organisations) are the biggest changes to whistleblower protection laws this country has ever seen, including significant increases in whistleblower protections and for the first time a right to compensation. 

Submissions from ASIC and the AFP have highlighted the absence of whistleblower protection reforms in Australia and the urgent need for reform. Information on the inquiry can be found here and you can watch today’s public hearing here.

SUBMARINES: A SUB-STANDARD RESPONSE FROM MINISTER PYNE
Controversy continues to swirl over the amount of local content that will be used in the $50 billion Future Submarine program.

Minister Pyne, who committed to 90 per cent prior to the election, has presided over contract negotiations with DCNS that have been shown to have no legally enforceable benchmarks.

Defence SA has given evidence that the number may fall as low as 10 per cent. DCNS' letter in The Advertiser today provides "positive sentiment but does nothing to provide the program with enforceable local content benchmarks," said Nick

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