Tony Abbott has made comments suggesting the army be used to invade states and territories to take control of natural gas reserves for the Federal Government.
Mr Abbott’s call to invoke defence powers was dismissed by senior colleagues who reportedly told the former prime minister to calm down.
The comments made to Fairfax Media came after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull closed a deal with gas suppliers Santos, Origin and Shell on a possible gas shortfall.
Tony Abbott (pictured) has made comments suggesting the army be used to invade states and territories to exert Federal Government control of natural gas reserves
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said there were other ways to put pressure on states to produce more natural gas.
‘We obviously are in deep discussions with the states about how we can get more gas into the market,’ said Mr Frydenberg on ABC Radio.
He said he preferred the sustainable development of domestic gas reserves, and lauded the ‘shale gas revolution’ in the US.
Treasurer Scott Morrison was not impressed with Abbott’s suggestion either, and said: ‘No, we’re not interested in a khaki solution,’ News.com.au reported.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg (pictured, left) and Treasurer Scott Morrison (pictured, right) dismissed Tony Abbott’s suggestion
Mr Abbott’s call to invoke defence powers was dismissed by senior colleagues who reportedly told the former prime minister to calm down (pictured is a stock image of Australian Defence Force personnel)
A senior source within the government said a move to use the army to take control of gas reserves for the Commonwealth would be illegal.
‘The Defence Powers are a wartime provision. There is no way the High Court would allow it to be used like that,’ the source said.
Defence powers have never been used in peacetime as a way of controlling markets or state governments.
They allow for domestic controls to be put in place during times of war, and could apply to price fixing or rationing.
Mr Abbott, who famously threatened to ‘shirtfront’ Russian President Vladimir Putin, wanted to send as many as 3000 Australian troops into Ukraine to secure the MH17 crash site.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Abbott’s office for comment.
A senior source within the government said a move to use the army to take control of gas reserves for the Commonwealth would be illegal (pictured is a Queensland gas plant)