East coast gas market
An interconnected gas grid connects Australia’s eastern, northern and southern states and territories. This market has undergone structural change as the Queensland gas export industry has developed. These changes have resulted in changes to the direction of pipeline flows, the domestic supply/demand balance and gas contract prices.
The Australian Government, through the Energy Ministers’ Meeting, is undertaking a range of reforms aimed at supporting a more secure, resilient and flexible east coast gas market.
Securing Australian domestic gas supply
The Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) commenced on 1 July 2017 and is in place until 2030. It aims to ensure there is a sufficient supply of natural gas to meet the forecast needs of energy users within Australia.
This mechanism means that, if there is a supply shortfall in the domestic market, liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects may be required to limit their exports or find new gas sources.
The decision as to whether or not to restrict exports sits with the Commonwealth Minister for Resources. The minister’s decisions are informed by expert advice from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and industry. New ADGSM Guidelines came into force on 6 January 2021.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Gas Inquiry
Ensuring our electricity and gas markets operate competitively, transparently and in the long-term interests of consumers is a core Australian Government priority. Improved scrutiny and accountability is placing downward pressure on prices and improving market operations.
The ACCC is conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into the supply of and demand for natural gas in Australia.
Matters being monitored and considered by the inquiry include:
- pricing and availability of offers to supply gas
- volumes of gas supplied or available for current or future supply, including natural gas extracted or produced in Australia, or imported into Australia
- pricing, volume and availability of gas for domestic supply compared to the pricing, volume and availability of gas for export
- pricing, volume and availability of other goods or services, such as goods or services for drilling, storing or processing gas, that enable, assist or facilitate the supply of gas or gas transportation services in Australia.
The ACCC has extended its inquiry to December 2025, to continue to publish regular information on the supply and pricing of gas. Extending the inquiry ensures continued transparency of the gas market and identify opportunities for market reform, including in the retail sector.
See the ACCC website for more information.
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