On 31 March 2022 Energy Ministers agreed to a final package of gas pipeline regulatory amendments. The reforms will deliver a simpler regulatory framework that will continue to support the safe, reliable and efficient use of and investment in gas pipelines, while also:
- posing a more effective constraint on exercises of market power by pipeline service providers
- facilitating better access to pipelines that would not otherwise provide such access, while also minimising the cost and risks associated with regulation where there are no third party users
- providing greater support for commercial negotiations between shippers and service providers (i.e. through more transparency, including greater price transparency, and improvements to the negotiation framework and dispute resolution mechanisms)
- streamlining the governance arrangements.
The final package of regulatory amendments reflects feedback received from stakeholders through consultation on the draft legal package with key changes made to the following elements in response to stakeholder feedback:
- the greenfields incentive regime
- the powers the regulator will have when determining what form of regulation a pipeline should be subject to
- the information disclosure requirements pipelines will be subject to
- a number of proposed clarifications and refinements identified in the consultation paper.
The implementation of the agreed reforms remains subject to passage through the South Australian Parliament. Energy Ministers have agreed to publish an information paper to provide interested parties with a high-level overview of:
- how the new gas pipeline regulatory framework is intended to operate
- the transitional arrangements that will be implemented to facilitate an orderly transition to the new framework.
Draft legal package consultation
Over September and October 2021, Energy Senior Officials publically consulted on a draft legal package to give effect to the Decision RIS on options to improve gas pipeline regulation.
The consultation package was comprised of:
- draft amendments to the National Gas Law, Regulations, and National Gas Rules
- a consultation paper to explain the changes and guide stakeholder feedback
- a submission response template to assist stakeholders in preparing their feedback.
The closing date for submissions was Thursday 14 October 2021.
Please see supporting documents and non-confidential stakeholder submissions received below: