THE NA­TION

The Advertiser - - NEWS - DAVID SPEERS

SOME­TIMES you re­ally have to won­der about the an­tenna of our state politi­cians.

Aus­tralia is in the grip of an en­ergy cri­sis. Power bills have gone through the roof and busi­nesses are hit­ting the wall. Worse still, regulators this week warned of an ex­tra­or­di­nary gas short­fall on the east coast next year.

There’s plenty of blame to go around, but some­how our state lead­ers shirk re­spon­si­bil­ity. They ap­pear on fac­tory floors and talk about jobs as if power prices have noth­ing to do with them. For years they have been gripped by fear on coal seam gas (CSG), ter­ri­fied by the po­lit­i­cal pres­sure from green groups, some farm­ers and broad­caster Alan Jones. Sid­ing against CSG has been a safe bet un­til now, but the po­lit­i­cal ground is shift­ing.

This week’s re­ports from the Aus­tralian En­ergy Mar­ket Op­er­a­tor and the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Consumer Com­mis­sion should be a wake-up call. The east coast is fac­ing a se­vere gas short­fall. The big­gest rea­son for this

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