I was instantly overjoyed many years ago when I learnt that oil had been discovered in Bass Strait.
Gosh! strewth! Now we were at last going to get cheap fuel and be independent of all the other oil producing countries. The Australian-owned oil companies like Golden Fleece and Ampol will be distributing our own oil petrols and other products cheaply and efficiently.
Well it never did happen and we paid world parity prices, at Singapore-manipulated rates. Worse still those Oz companies were soon gobbled up by the multinationals.
The same thing happened with the enormous gas fields of the North West shelf . Our liquified gas was sold to the Japanese and others for for nine cents a litre while we paid about 40 cents a litre at the time.
Current price is around 70/80 cents a litre at the servo etc and most of it is exported to China and other countries.
The latest and greatest con is the (fracked) gas which can be extracted and is being extracted beneath Queensland and soon from parts of NSW.
If you think you will be getting a good deal with cheap gas think again as it will be sold overseas for sure at world prices. So don’t bother taking your container down to the well expecting it to be filled for half price because you won’t get any at any price.
Our minerals suffer the same fate and very little if any of this underground wealth will flow to the Oz citizen.
Most of this wealth is processed out of Australia and less and less is used in our dying or dead manufacturing industries. No wonder we are suffering unemployment.
Where are the Crosley fridges, Pye radios, train carriages, machine tools, car and aircraft spark plugs, tyres etc etc. Even crankshafts for the 1200hp Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used in wartime Spitfires and Hurricane fighter aircraft were produced here. Complete engines were produced in NSW and Victoria along with quality farm machinery.
We will be paying a high price eventually for the cheap stuff rolling out from China and other manufacturing countries.
Here’s hoping we will one day produce quality good again as someone said recently that we are becoming a nation of wombats – very good at digging holes in the ground, producing little of real value.
Wal Jobson, Mullumbimby