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Labor’s high gas prices putting fertiliser and food production at risk

The high cost of gas prices is putting the production of fertiliser at risk, in a worrying sign for families and farmers amid a cost-of-living crisis.

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said revelations from a WA-based State Parliamentary Inquiry that gas prices were having a serious impact on the production of fertiliser were deeply concerning.

He said Labor isn’t doing enough to drive gas prices down, which, in turn, is driving up the cost of food production and hurting families at the grocery store checkout.

It comes after the Inquiry into the WA Domestic Gas Policy heard an increase in the price of gas could lead to the reduced production of fertiliser.

Yara Pilbara Fertilisers senior energy sourcing manager Jai Coppen told the inquiry it was “absolutely true” that gas prices “will start to see the deindustrialisation of Western Australia”.

Mr Coppen also warned that Australian producers were competing internationally with fertiliser and ammonia prices and questioned why gas continues to be exported when there is not enough gas for the domestic market, putting fertiliser production at risk.

“Since Labor formed government, gas prices have increased by 26.4 per cent,” Mr Littleproud said.

“When supply goes down, prices go up. Labor’s harmful gas prices are hurting not just energy bills but also the availability of food production, which will lead to even more expensive groceries at the checkout.”

According to ABARES, fertiliser is one of the biggest overhead costs facing our agriculture sector, with fertiliser making up roughly 10% of a cattle producer’s costs, 16% of a lamb producer’s costs and a little more than one-third of a crop grower’s costs.

Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing Michelle Landry said the Labor Government is all talk and no action when it comes to supporting Australian manufacturers.

“We’re almost two years into the Albanese Government and not one cent from the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund has been invested and the recently announced ‘Future Made in Australia Act’ has been widely criticised by economists as a waste of money,” Ms Landry said.

“Manufacturers are the driving force behind our economy, but they are being hit with higher energy costs, difficulty accessing a skilled workforce and a Labor Government that’s creating policies on the fly. When businesses pay more, so do consumers.”

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