Government priorities

energy-theme-blue

Gas

On 12 August 2022, Energy Ministers agreed to take a range of actions aimed at supporting a more secure, resilient and flexible east coast gas market.

These actions include quick progression of measures to ensure the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) can manage gas supply adequacy and reliability risks across east coast gas markets in the lead up to and during winter 2023.

  • AEMO’s functions and powers will be extended to identify, signal and manage supply shortfalls in the east coast market in winter 2023. 
  • AEMO will prepare an annual Winter Readiness and Management Plan, and incorporate gas system adequacy risks into their Summer Readiness Plan.

On 28 October 2022, Energy Minister agreed to the amendments to the National Gas Law to extend AEMO’s functions and powers to manage reliability and gas supply adequacy for the east coast gas market over winter 2023 and beyond. Ministers also agreed that the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) would conduct a review of the new framework within three years.

Consultation on the proposed reforms occurred between 26 September 2022 and 21 October 2022. In December 2022, Energy Ministers will consider further rule refinements to this new framework based on consultation feedback.

Energy Senior Officials will continue work on the longer-term reforms including to:

  • design and consult on more formal tools which could sit under the supply adequacy and reliability framework to improve AEMO and market participants’ ability to identify and respond to emerging supply shortfall risks, and better manage periods of volatility
  • develop and submit rule changes to improve the flexibility and liquidity of the east coast gas market to respond to demand and supply shocks
  • further investigate options to extend a third party access framework for upstream gas infrastructure and storage facilities to enable more supply to market from smaller producers and improve utilisation of existing infrastructure.

Further information on the package of reforms can be found in the Summary of Measures document (PDF 693 KB).

Gas Working Group

Progress of the reforms will be overseen by the Gas Working Group, which contains representatives from all Australian state and territory governments.

The Gas Working Group continues the work of the former Gas Major Projects Implementation Team (GMPIT). Prior to that, the Gas Market Reform Group (GMRG) was responsible for implementing the 2016 Gas Market Reform Package (see below).

The role of the Gas Working Group is to oversee the delivery of gas market reform priorities set by the Energy Ministers Meeting (EMM), as well as other relevant priorities specifically tasked by the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee (ENCRC).

The Gas Working Group is also responsible for supporting Energy Ministers in their ongoing role to provide oversight of national gas policy and related regulatory frameworks as articulated in the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA).

Previous Energy Ministers’ work programs

In June 2021 Energy Ministers agreed to a package of priority reforms to unlock new gas supply and improve the functioning of gas markets, including pipeline regulation, to ensure they are operating competitively and in the interests of consumers.

The package was endorsed by National Cabinet in August 2021.

The priority reforms include the following work-streams:

Key historical documents

Previous National Gas Market Reforms

National Gas Law Amendment Package  - January 2017

Gas Market Reform Package - August 2016

Gas Supply Strategy - December 2015

Australian Gas Market Vision - December 2014

Previous National Gas Market Reviews

Examination of the current test for the regulation of gas pipelines - December 2016

AEMC East Coast Wholesale Gas Market and Pipeline Frameworks Review - July 2016

ACCC Inquiry into the East Coast Gas Market - April 2016