News National Government to work close with gas companies: PM
Live

Government to work close with gas companies: PM

gas PM
Anthony Albanese says new fossil fuel projects will be considered on a case by case basis. Photo: AAP
Share
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email
Live

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has stressed the government is willing to work closely with gas companies to ensure consistent supply following a scathing energy report.

Mr Albanese said guarding domestic supply was critical as the government announced plans to extend the so-call gas trigger mechanism until January 2030 and issue a notice of intent to invoke the mechanism from next year.

“There is currently a portion of the gas that is extracted (that) is uncontracted, that is what we are looking at,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

“We are not looking at interfering with any existing contracts which are there, but we do want to make sure that businesses, manufacturers, can keep going, and also that households have access to gas.”

The comments followed the release of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report which revealed a gas shortfall would occur in 2023 if all excess gas produced by exporters was sent overseas.

Resources Minister Madeleine King said possible future shortages of gas would be taken into account before the trigger mechanism was pulled.

“We can use it (but) I would rather find a solution,” she told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“We are making sure (the mechanism) is available to this government and future governments as well.”

In announcing the extension of the gas mechanism, the government also opened consultation on reforms to the trigger and negotiations on a new heads of agreement with major gas producers.

Ms King said the government could work with the states to develop a domestic reserve policy.

“Queensland has instigated a domestic policy for future reserve exploitation and if Victoria or New South Wales were to move toward further gas extraction, we’d work with them,” she said.

“To be frank, reverse engineering one now to apply to the whole export industry on the east coast is an extraordinary task.”

However, gas producers insist there won’t be a shortfall in supplies of the commodity.

“The ACCC report shows 167 petajoules of uncontracted gas is available for supply into the domestic market next year,” Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association acting chief executive Damian Dwyer said.

“This is more than enough gas to ensure that no shortfall occurs.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has commissioned a review of the coalition’s policy on nuclear power to be led by energy spokesman and Queensland MP Ted O’Brien.

“It is high time that Australia had an honest and informed debate on the benefits and costs of nuclear energy,” Mr Dutton said in a statement.

“If we are serious about reducing emissions, while at the same time maintaining a strong economy and protecting our traditional industries, all technologies need to be on the table.”

He said Australia was already a “nuclear nation”, with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation operating a nuclear research reactor at Lucas Heights for more than 60 years.

France, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the US have adopted nuclear energy technologies, with the UK planning to triple the size of its nuclear generation by 2050.

Since 1998, Australia has had a moratorium that prohibits it from the “construction or operation'” of nuclear power plants.

– AAP