Cabinet Minister Tony Burke says the federal government “won’t rule anything out” in addressing the nation’s energy crisis amid a “perfect storm” of factors.
Gas prices have soared following the war in Ukraine and other supply issues, with the national energy regulator allowing more gas to be released to the south-eastern states to help ease the burden.
A meeting between state and federal governments will take place on Wednesday to discuss solutions to the gas crisis.
When asked if more support for people on low incomes facing rising energy prices was needed, Mr Burke said the government was considering its options.
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“We’re not ruling anything in or out effectively at the moment,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
“It’s been a decade of no energy policy [under the former government] that has effectively led us to a situation where we’ve ended up with this perfect storm.
“Some of the issues are international, but our capacity to be able to deal with those international issues is very much domestic, so there won’t be a quick knee jerk response.”
Mr Burke said while Labor had supported relief payments handed down in the last budget, the government was “not putting anything more on the table at the moment”.
“We’re working through everything with respect to what’s happening with this, this perfect storm of of energy prices.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton rejected suggestions the former Morrison government’s lack of policy action had contributed to the current energy issue.
“These same problems presented to the previous government and they were able to be dealt with,” he told the ABC on Monday.
“You’re now seeing a panicked new government … Fair enough, they haven’t had their feet under the desk for too long and they don’t understand the options.”
Mr Dutton said Energy Minister Chris Bowen didn’t “know what he wants to do” demonstrating his “inexperience”.
But if the Albanese government was to pull the “gas trigger” allowing gas exports to be diverted for domestic supply, and put in place by the former government, it would not come into effect until January.