Origin director says “someone’s been smoking something” over east coast gas price targets

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Image: APA

The newly appointed director of Origin Energy Mick McCormack said a cheap gas target on the east coast is a pipe dream.

Former Dow Chemical chief and adviser to the Morrison Government Andrew Liveris set a $4 a gigajoule target in early 2020, later revising it to $4-6GJ. Industry has said that $8 is more realistic.

Talking to The Australian, Mr McCormack, former pipeline giant APA boss said, “Some of these prices I’ve heard being kicked around makes me think someone’s been smoking something.

“It just makes no sense in that you start to talk about $4-$6 gas, that then becomes part of the conversation as though it’s got some serious legs to it. It’s not happening.”

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Research from the Grattan Institute reveals gas prices on the east coast are more than double historic levels, which could have dire consequences for manufacturing.

Mr McCormack said the government needed to be transparent about its intentions surrounding subsidising the manufacturing industry.

“I can see where the government is coming from but … the government is saying we are going to have private sector companies subsidise some small component of manufacturing. Again, if you want to do that, let‘s be upfront and open about it,” he told The Australian.

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