Government responds to ACCC gas shortage report

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King has outlined a range of government actions to safeguard Australia’s gas supplies in response to the latest ACCC gas report, which forecasts a 56 petajoule shortfall to the east coast market for 2023.

The ACCC report was released by the Treasurer this morning. 

In response, Minister King has announced that she is preparing to issue a notice of intent to make a determination to invoke the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM).

Following consultations, the Minister also announced the Government will extend the ADGSM until 2030, with a review due in 2025. The ADGSM is currently due to expire in January 2023.

Because the previous government failed to extend the mechanism beyond its current sunset clause, the so-called trigger cannot be pulled until the regulations are updated. This urgent work is underway.

“Once the mechanism is available, I will take the first step in activating it,” Minister King said.

“The Albanese Government will ensure Australian householders and businesses continue to have access to reliable energy supplies and we will take whatever steps are needed to avoid a repeat of the crisis we faced in early June.

“Based on the forecast shortfall, the Government needs to see firm commitments out of the east coast LNG exporters.

“I will continue to work with gas and LNG producers, as well as state and territory governments to encourage new supply, and to find industry-led solutions to secure Australia’s ongoing energy needs.

“The government is also talking with key trading partners to reassure them that Australia remains a trusted trading partner and a stable and reliable exporter of resources and energy.”

The ADGSM is a measure of last resort which allows the Government, in the event of a predicted shortfall, to restrict exports to ensure enough gas is available for domestic use.

The ADGSM is an important tool in securing a stable gas supply for the domestic market, but as designed by the previous government it has some clear shortcomings.

Minister King said it was important that east coast gas producers do their part to ensure adequate supplies of gas are available to keep the lights on and businesses operating during our winter energy crisis. 

“The previous Government left the energy market in a mess and the Albanese Government is getting on with the job of ensuring Australian households and businesses have access to reliable and secure sources of energy,” Minister King said.