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Firm resolve on gas security mechanism is welcome

"Ai Group welcomes the Federal Government's continued efforts to secure domestic energy supply and put downward pressure on prices," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said today.

"The confirmation that the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism will commence from 1 July is most welcome. It is badly needed as a safeguard if the gas export industry is unable to make the arrangements to redirect gas into the domestic market. We have not lightly called for this mechanism, and invoking it would be a serious step. However, if the situation shows no signs of improvement, we would expect Minister Canavan to invoke export controls later this year. The Prime Minister's announcement today signals the Government's will to act. "The additional announcements today will also contribute to energy affordability and security.

"Changes to the review process for network regulation and further funding to the Australian Energy Regulator should be positive, though we note that successive governments have been frustrated by the challenges of reforming network regulation. The role of energy users in the conversation is critical.

"The Australian Energy Market Operator's report on the prospects of baseload generation should be closely coordinated with the national response to the broader Finkel Review of energy security.

"Reliable, competitively priced electricity and gas are cornerstones of Australian industry without which the positions of hundreds of thousands of employees and many businesses would be placed in jeopardy. A series of Ai Group member forums on energy this week have confirmed that businesses face massive increases in the cost of gas and electricity and that the stakes are high. It is critical that Australia addresses both the short- and the longer-term threats to energy reliability and competitive prices.

"Ai Group will work with the Federal Government, AER and AEMO to make progress on behalf of industrial energy users of all sizes, who have a close stake in affordable and reliable energy systems as Australia meets our Paris commitments," Mr Willox said.  

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347