ACCC recognises east coast crisis

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said events following the ACCC’s April 2016 Inquiry into the east coast gas market have confirmed its worst fears.

Speaking in Sydney at the 5th Annual Australia Domestic Gas Outlook Conference 2017, Mr Sims said, “One year ago at this conference I warned of an urgent need for both new and importantly more diverse sources of gas supply into the domestic market.”

“The outlook for gas supply is now even worse than it was a year ago; indeed, our worst fears are being realised,” said Mr Sims.

Mr Sims noted the word “crisis” can be overused but that the scarcity of available gas on the east coast has seen prices increase 1 ½ - 4 times above historic levels. These price increases have seen a significant reduction in gas used for electricity generation and are expected to flow through to significantly higher prices for residential customers.

“The most important problem, however, perhaps the real crisis, is the difficulties faced by industrial companies who rely on gas as a feedstock or as an energy source,” said Mr Sims.

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