Emily Wood | December 18, 2018
Today’s release by the ACCC, the Gas Inquiry 2017-2020 Interim Report, clearly shows that the gas crisis still has an iron grip on Australia’s manufacturing, chemicals and food processing industries.
“Efforts to alleviate the gas crisis by governments and regulators have been insufficient and an accelerated program of gas market reform and targeted assistance is required if we are to avoid the worst,” said Energy Users’ Association of Australia (EUAA) Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Richards.
“We know of many companies who are actively considering their future in Australia. They are being driven out by high energy prices, particularly gas.”
ACCC Chair Rod Simms has this warning, “Once large manufacturers relocate or shut down their plants, they won’t come back.”
The Interim report is insightful in that it identifies, for the first time, the average production cost which is less that $7 Gj but most Australian industrial and commercial gas users are paying up to $12Gj.
“We acknowledge the efforts of governments to assist with gas supply and the Gas Market Reform Group who has done some good initial work. However, the Interim Report shows we have more work to do if we are to see the development of a competitive, liquid and transparent domestic gas market.”
The COAG Energy Council meets in Adelaide today and we encourage them to make gas market reform a priority in 2019. This could include targeted assistance for suppliers and end users, similar to what we have seen in the electricity sector over the last decade.
“If such measures are justifiable for the electricity sector then they are certainly justifiable to resolve this persistent gas crisis.”
Members of the EUAA include many large businesses responsible for producing essential items that include food, packaging, raw materials and medical supplies that are used in the Australian community every day.
Combined, EUAA members employ over 1 million Australians, pay billions in energy bills every year and are desperate to see a national energy and climate change plan that puts downward pressure on electricity and gas costs.
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