Nev Power it seems knows a good investment, better than most in fact, particularly if you are an ‘insider’. But two important questions remain. Besides his business ‘savviness’, what expertise will he actually bring to the Commission? The other being, how long did he know of his upcoming appointment?
The answer to the first question, it seems, is knowledge of the gas and mining sector. One which is completely in line with the vision held by our Prime Minister anbd verified by later staements from Energy Minister Angus Taylor. One has to look no further than the pressure on Victoria to relinquish its restrictions on onshore gas development, which in the end was recently achieved, or the ‘gas-lighting’ exerted by the Prime Minister himself in relation to onshore gas development, again targeting the Narrabri Gas project.
The recent approval of Arrow Energy’s (owned by Shell/Petro-China) expansion in the Surat Basin, came as a great disappointment to many who have argued for a long time against the merits of this sector. No doubt an industry signal that the government is still willing to back this sector, no matter how insolvent they may become. Approvals have after all, a short-term market value.
Let’s not forget the political donations to the Liberal/National Parties from the resource and energy sector, amounting to over $9.2 million since 2012. No records exist for any Strike Energy donations directly to the LNP, though a partner in the WA fields, Beach Energy, has donated over $230,000 to the LNP in the last seven years. Energy Australia has also made significant donations over the years.
While the gas sector still maintains a façade of being a ‘clean’ industry, this is a claim that should have been long dismissed as the evidence has now shown that the gas industry is only ‘clean’ as long as they can greenwash the truth from the public. A PR exercise of monumental proportions in fact, as recent evidence now shows. Will Mr Power be as honest to the public about the COVID19 crisis as he is about this claim?
His solutions so far, headed by an ammonium nitrate plant, should tell us what direction the post-crisis economic recovery is heading. The public awaits the cost-benefit analysis with anticipation.
How long did Mr Power know of his upcoming position on the Committee and did it influence the rise in fortunes of Strike Energy? Only the Prime Minister’s Office and the board of Strike Energy know the answer to this question.