Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister

FEDERAL minister for resources Madeleine King told the Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference on Monday that industry needed to do more to protect its reputation.
Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister Want public to like oil and gas? Reduce energy bills: Minister

Paul Hunt

Deputy Editor: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

King told the conference in Adelaide the oil and gas sector needed to "do a better job" of communicating its importance to the public.

"All of us here today know how vital it is, but does the average person on the street take its role for granted?" she said.

"Our minerals and oil and gas resources are used in Australia and around the world to make the everyday essentials we need for daily life.

"So the challenge is to help everyday Australians who don't have exposure to the industry to understand the role it has in their everyday lives."

She said there were a "number of ways" the industry could support its social licence.

First and foremost, King believes ensuring domestic gas supplies would boost public opinion in the sector.

A shortfall of domestic gas would turn the public against industry, with disruptions, unplanned outages and higher energy bills taking a toll on public confidence.

During her speech, King acknowledged the commitments she had struck with oil and gas companies a new heads of agreement with LNG exporters.

This will ensure some gas designated for other countries is first offered to the domestic market. The success of the agreement is yet to be seen.

King said industry also needed to hit home the range of career opportunities in the oil and gas sector and spend more time attracting women to the industry.
The minister also said ensuring protection for workers' mental health as well as physical health, would help retain talent.