Australian Left Review


Gavan Butler


The last set of Economic Notes touched on the important question of the pricing of Australian electricity to be used in the expanded production of aluminium. That issue, and the broader issue of the pricing of Australian energy sources, deserve closer examination. There is reason to believe that energy for the aluminium industry will be (is being) supplied at prices very close to costs of production, whereas Australian crude oil is being sold at prices far above, and bearing no relation to, the costs of extracting it. The pricing principles being applied in the two cases are quite different — and are quite inconsistent with each other. Both do, however, directly support the profits of some o f the world’s largest transnational corporations.



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