Media Release

26 September 2017

The Berejikian Government must act now and ensure households and businesses are not hit with higher gas bills as the competition watchdog predicts a massive shortfall in the supply of gas for the east coast market.

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report found escalating gas prices are not only impacting households and businesses but are also feeding into higher electricity costs.

Labor’s energy spokesman Adam Searle said there was an urgent need to take action to address the skyrocketing gas prices that are putting extreme pressure on families and businesses right across NSW.

Higher gas prices will have a massive impact on families using gas in their homes – and just add more pressure on already stretched household budgets.

Despite the fact that Australia is one of the biggest producers of gas in the world, producing far in excess of our domestic demand, households and businesses are being denied access to gas at affordable prices.

In 2014, heeding the evidence of a looming shortage of gas at affordable prices for households and businesses due to most of Australia’s gas production being exported, NSW Labor committed to pursuing a domestic gas reservation policy.

A national gas reservation policy would require gas producers to meet domestic needs for affordable gas – both residential and commercial – before exporting it overseas.

In 2015, NSW Labor welcomed the recommendations of a Legislative Council report on the cost and supply of gas and liquid fuels, which supported the call for a gas reservation policy.


Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle:

“Even the Federal Coalition now has a mechanism to restrict gas exports. They should use it now, not wait until next year.  The Berejiklian Government should insist that it does act now.

“The reality is that the only way to keep gas prices affordable in NSW is to reserve a supply of gas for domestic consumption before allowing export. Federal Labor adopted a similar policy.

“If Australia had a gas reservation policy or export restriction to ensure domestic supplies, Australia would be joining a long list of other nations that already have some form of gas reservation policy for their domestic market including, the US, Canada, Indonesia, Norway  Israel, Algeria, Qatar, Malaysia and Egypt.”

“Businesses that use gas in manufacturing and employ thousands of people in NSW also face the prospect of higher gas prices – something that threatens the thousands of jobs in the sector.

“I don’t want to see workers face a double hit from rising gas prices – firstly with their job threatened and then on their household budgets.”