Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has proposed that the Albanese government looks at a similar gas model to Western Australia nationally amid soaring prices.
Labor has been under fire since Tuesday’s federal budget which confirmed energy prices will rise by 56 per cent and gas is set to rise by 44 per cent over two years.
Western Australia has been partially spared from the gas shortages and a recent surge in price due to a reserve of gas – 15 per cent of what’s produced locally – for domestic use.
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Mr Andrews suggested a similar gas reserve scheme nationwide in response to skyrocketing gas prices when grilled by Sky News Australia’s reporter Simon Love.
“There’s some terrible stuff going on in Europe but we’re not in Europe,” he told reporters Sunday morning.
“We need a national domestic reserve so our gas is for our businesses and our households first. And the bit that we don’t need, sell that to the world and get the best price you can.
“But we should not be paying European prices when we’re not in Europe and we certainly shouldn’t be competing against the rest of the world for something that comes out of our ground.”
The Premier confirmed that he had brought the proposal to Friday’s meeting with the energy ministers and that the Albanese government was considering “all options”.
A national gas reserve would mean a percentage of Australia’s gas can not be sold to overseas markets and would instead be released into the domestic market.
The success of WA’s 2006 implementation has repeatedly been praised but not led to a nationwide expansion.
Despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission identifying a potential 10 per cent domestic shortfall for 2023, gas exporters seem against the reserve.
Gas companies have repeatedly said there is ample supply to meet demand at home and overseas without setting supply aside for Australia.
Another option being considered by the Albanese government to drive down energy prices is a cap on gas prices.
This would mean that the Federal Government would introduce a ceiling on how much households and industries have to pay for their gas, with energy suppliers compensated.
However, Sky News Australia’s Political Editor Andrew Clennell revealed on Sunday that the Australian Energy Regulator has warned the government to act quickly on gas caps.
“The Federal Government has been warned that if it moves to cap energy prices to attempt price rises by up to 50 percent, it must act before November,” Andrew Clennell revealed exclusively on Sunday Agenda.
“The warning came from the Chair of the Australian Energy Regulator Clare Savage at the energy ministers COAG meeting on Friday.
“Contracts for energy supply next year are being entered into at a rapid pace so there was no point in waiting months to cap prices, that would have no impact.”
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