As interesting as it is to talk about Australia becoming the 'food bowl of Asia', the truth is somewhat different; the real job is for Australia to cement its role as the powerhouse of Asia.
Last week's blackouts across northern India, which left 680 million people in the dark for two consecutive days, was a useful reminder that Asia wants electricity as much as it wants food - perhaps more so.
While a uniquely Indian event, caused by a mixture of failed government planning, an ancient and inefficient electricity distribution network, and outright corruption, the heart of the problem is that Indian power stations do not have enough coal to meet electricity demand, which is growing at 8 per cent a year.
The fuel shortage has, so far, been reduced to a secondary status as the Indian national and state governments haggle over who is responsible for a disgraceful event that has raised doubts about whether India can ever hope to match China as an economic giant.
Without going into the detail of who said what and when, the Indian system of central control over electricity production and the allocation of quotas to the states (which have to submit estimates on a daily basis of the next day's electricity requirement) creates a climate where everyone cheats. Some states exceed their daily quota by more than 20 per cent, which causes the system to crash.
The obvious solution, and one which is heading Australia's way, is for India to buy more coal, gas and uranium - the triple crown of Australia's future as a regional powerhouse.
For the Australian government, with its dependence on the support of the environmentally focused Greens, the triple crown of power is both a blessing and a curse.
On one hand the government can see that Asian power demand, as shown in India's crisis, is a major opportunity for Australian business and a major taxing target to top up its depleted Treasury.
On the other hand, the government has a partner that's opposed in principle to uranium, has a dislike for gas, and a deep hatred of coal.
While India and many other countries in Asia want to build on their relationship with Australia as a reliable source of multiple streams of fuel, the Australian government is split; should the 'powerhouse' business be encouraged because it creates wealth, jobs and tax revenue, or discouraged because of a philosophical belief in restricting the use of certain fuels?
Windmills, solar farms, and other forms of alternative power are simply not an option to supply the large amounts of power required in heavily populated Asian countries.
They need Australia's triple crown of coal, gas and uranium, and are willing to pay handsomely for supplies.
What becomes interesting is whether the Australian government, under the influence of the Greens, will seek to limit fuel exports on the grounds that coal, gas and uranium are bad for the environment and a belief that Asia should reduce its reliance on polluting, or politically incorrect, fuels.
The fuel debate has not reached that point, yet, but it will in the aftermath of India's blackouts and the rapid growth in regional electricity demand.
The point about Australian fuel is that the market is wide open. Competition is scarce because few countries in the world have spare energy supplies to export, and there are willing buyers prepared to pay whatever it takes to avoid the debilitating blackouts that closed large parts of India.
Politically difficult it might be for some Australian politicians but they had best get used to the idea of Australia being the powerhouse of Asia - or explain to a couple of billions Asians why keeping the lights on using Australian coal, gas and uranium is bad for them.
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