Resources Minister Madeleine King said Australia’s domestic gas security mechanism would be extended and improved.
In place since 2017 and due to expire on January 1, 2023, the mechanism aims to secure enough natural gas for domestic needs in Australia when the resource is scarce. It can do this by imposing an export limit on the country’s domestic liquefied gas projects or by allowing them to find new sources of gas.
“We have decided today as a cabinet to ensure that this mechanism remains a tool of government to secure future gas supplies in this country,” King said.
“We will act as quickly as possible and ensure that the gas security mechanism for domestic suppliers is renewed as soon as possible through regulation.
“At the same time, we are going to carry out an urgent review of the household gas safety mechanism to make it actually work… At present, it is a long and complicated, convoluted, inefficient mechanism that takes a very long time to put in place produce results.
“We are determined to change that, and we are determined to ensure that this mechanism, along with the other tools at our disposal, are all on the table so that we can ensure that gas supply is appropriate, adequate and affordable. for Australians. in all the countries. »
Energy Minister Chris Bowen said gas reserves from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) would not be available to help solve current problems, but would be invaluable in the future.
He said AEMO would be responsible for buying the gas and storing it. Although based in southeast Australia, any gas introduced into the system would drive prices down everywhere, he said, promoting its benefits across the country.
“We’re not going to be able to buy and store gas overnight,” Bowen said.
“It’s true. There are some rule changes [that need to happen before it can be purchased]. But if we had that ability last week, it would have helped. »