Investment to expand Australia’s gas supply is urgently needed and governments need to end the roadblocks to securing reliable energy supply.

“There is a looming crisis, with shortfalls likely to bite as early as next year.  Years of policy mismanagement and obstruction are coming to a head,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has issued the warning today in its Gas Statement of Opportunities.

“Our existing gas fields, particularly in the south, are running out, but not enough is being done to replace this supply,” Mr McKellar said.

“New investment in gas supply is urgently needed to meet future gas demand for homes and business, as well in ensuring the reliability and security of the renewable electricity network.

“The situation is particularly dire in Victoria. The gas supply from Bass Strait is rapidly depleting. Victoria needs a new source of gas, yet the state government is actively blocking new gas field development.

“Governments need to abandon their ideological opposition to new gas field development. Gas is essential during the transition to renewables.

“Investment in new distribution infrastructure to improve the efficiency of supply is welcome, but we still need gas to send through the pipes.

“Gas will play a key role in stabilising the variability of electricity supply in renewable energy networks as coal-fired power stations are retired.

“More gas, not less, is needed to ensure the stability and reliability of the electricity network over the next 25 years.

“It is farcical that gas power generators may need to supplement gas usage with liquid fuels, such as diesel and petrol, which produce significantly higher emissions, to meet peak demands if there are not any new supplies of gas by 2028.”

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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