Turnbull imposes gas export restrictions to ensure domestic supply

Export restrictions will be imposed on the gas industry from July 1, as the Turnbull Government puts further pressure on east coast gas companies to boost domestic supply.

Since March, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has met with heads of the gas industry twice to guarantee domestic supply after the Australian Energy Market Operator released its 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities report.

The report revealed a projected decline in gas production could result in a shortfall of gas-powered electricity generation from as early as next year.

While the PM said some progress had been made at the meetings, the government remains concerned east coast gas companies had not done enough to guarantee supply.

As a result, the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism will be announced today, giving the government power to impose export controls on companies when there is a domestic shortfall.

The mechanism will ensure the local supply always meets the forecast needs, and if an exporter draws more from the market than it puts in, it will have to outline how it will fill the domestic shortfall.

Ahead of today’s announcement, Mr Turnbull said the new measures would “ensure prices were lower and fairly reflect international export prices”.

“Australians are entitled to have access to the gas they need at prices they can afford,” he said.

“It is unacceptable for Australia to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, but not have enough domestic supply for Australian households and businesses.”