Australia's new minister for resources has called for the country to increase gas, coal and uranium exports.
Keith Pitt, who was promoted to the governing Coalition's Cabinet earlier in February, vowed to use his new role to promote Australia's energy exports in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald recently.
He urged state governments to lift moratoriums on exploratory gas drilling, saying that allowing the practice would drive down the price of energy for households.
"If we don't explore and develop new gas supplies, we are consigning a lot of our manufacturing sector to outsourcing overseas and making families and businesses pay more for energy supplies," Pitt said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison in January announced a 2-billion-Australian dollar (1.34-billion- U.S. dollar) energy deal for New South Wales (NSW) with the stipulation that the state must inject 70 petajoules of gas into the east coast market.
Pitt threw his support behind a gas mine in northern NSW proposed by Santos, Australia's second-largest gas and oil producer, which could provide more than half the state's gas demand.
"Of course with any new gas development we must ensure that our precious water resources are protected, that high value farm land is protected and that local communities and local business get real benefits and real jobs," he said.