Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he is taking “national leadership” to resolve the country’s gas crisis.
The PM will meet with chief executives of eastern gas companies this morning, following the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) report last week.
Addressing delegates at The Australian Financial Review Summit in Sydney on Thursday, Mr Turnbull said the report was concerning.
AEMO’s report, revealed a projected decline in gas production could result in a shortfall of gas-powered electricity generation from as early as next year.
“Australians are entitled to expect they will have access to the gas they need and at prices they can afford, whether it’s for their homes or in their businesses,” he said at a doorstop in Canberra this morning ahead of the meeting.
“Thousands of jobs depend on secure, reliable and affordable gas.
“It is not acceptable for Australia shortly to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to not have enough gas for its own families and its own businesses.
“So we’re seeking action today at the meeting. We’re determined to resolve this gas crisis.”
Mr Turnbull said the crisis has been created by state government policies that have locked up gas resources.
He made mention of the Victorian Government, which has recently permanently banned fracking and gas development.
“In Victoria, of course, you see a state that says it wants to get out of coal-fired power also now banning the exploration of gas, which is on any view, a much cleaner fuel,” Mr Turnbull said.
“But the bottom line is, Australians need reliable, affordable gas, whether it is for heating their homes or for cooking at home, or for running big industries that employ thousands of Australians.”
The meeting comes just a day after the South Australian Government released its $550 million energy plan, which includes the construction of a new gas-fired plant, as well as Australia’s largest battery facility.
Mr Turnbull said the plan is an “expensive game of catch-up” for the government’s failures.