This page belongs to: Future Gas Strategy

Where Australia goes from here

Action 1: Prevent gas shortfalls.

A reliable supply of gas is essential for energy production, and industrial and residential use. Forecast shortfalls are expected to put upward pressure on prices.

The government is currently managing shortfall risks through a mix of policy and regulatory settings by:

  • utilising the powers of the Australian Energy Market Operator, the supply commitments under the Mandatory Code of Conduct, and the Heads of Agreement to address forecast shortfalls ahead of time
  • using the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) as a measure of last resort to limit exports and ensure an adequate and secure supply of gas.

In light of the findings of the analysis to support the Strategy, the government will also:

  • continue investing in pre-competitive geoscience data
  • update Commonwealth retention lease policies to encourage more timely development of existing gas discoveries and consider a firmer 'use it or lose it' policy
  • reframe any future Commonwealth offshore exploration acreage releases to focus on optimising existing discoveries and infrastructure in producing basins, prioritise energy security, and align with our net zero emissions targets
  • work with gas producers under the Gas Market Code exemption framework to increase gas supply committed for future domestic supply
  • continue to work with state and territory governments to improve the efficiency of the regulatory regime.

Action 2: Reduce gas-related emissions.

The government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. The Government will accelerate the reduction of gas-related emissions through:

  • the Safeguard Mechanism which obligates Australia’s largest emitters, including gas and LNG producers, to reduce emissions
  • the 6 sectoral decarbonisation plans which will cover all major components of the economy to produce decarbonisation pathways that are robust, ambitious and achievable.

In light of the findings of the analysis to support this strategy, the government will also:

  • work with regulators and industry to reduce and where possible eliminate venting and flaring of gas, unless required for safety purposes
  • apply a technology neutral approach to data acquisition in Commonwealth waters to minimise the use of marine seismic surveys where possible
  • consider gas demand reduction measures in the government’s 6 decarbonisation sector plans, including the Resources Sector Plan. The Resources Sectoral Plan is also considering how to promote electrification of fuel gas used in compressors, pumps, and liquefaction in gas production
  • the Australian Government’s Future Made in Australia Agenda will help decrease gas emissions in specific sectors over the medium to long-term and contribute to making Australia a renewable energy superpower.

Action 3: Support households and businesses through the transition to net zero. 

Helping Australians with the cost of living is the government’s number one priority. The cost of living is an important element of community wellbeing and prosperity. Short‑term affordability challenges will be managed through targeted intervention, such as:

  • working closely with states and territories to manage pricing impacts
  • the Gas Market Code, including statutory reviews to refine or strengthen aspects.

This is in addition to the existing:

  • Energy Price Relief Plan
  • $1.3 billion Household Energy Upgrades Fund to provide concessional finance to more than 170,000 households for home upgrades that save energy and contains $300 million to support energy performance retrofits for social housing.

Action 4: Empower First Nations people to benefit from the transition to net zero.

The government recognises the importance of our First Nations people’s connection to country and is committed to improving social and economic outcomes through future energy projects. To achieve this, the government will introduce reforms that:

  • clarify consultation requirements for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities – this is part of a broader three year review of the offshore environmental management regime
  • pursue an appropriate level of benefit sharing that ensures First Nations people are partners in the transition to net zero. This includes new job opportunities, improved education programs and direct community investment

Action 5: Promote geological storage of CO2 and support our region’s transition to net zero.

Australia’s gas industry can assist our region to decarbonise through the permanent, safe geological storage of CO2. To enable this, the government will: 

  • continue to release offshore acreage for greenhouse gas storage
  • ensure future Commonwealth offshore exploration acreage releases consider the energy security and transition needs of our region
  • finalise the review into the offshore regulatory regime to realise opportunities associated with the geological storage of CO2 for Australian industry and our trade partners
  • grow our clean energy exports and connect Australia to new clean energy supply chains through the Hydrogen Headstart and Regional Hydrogen Hubs programs.

In light of the findings of the analysis to support this Strategy, the government will also:

  • establish a new initiative on regional cooperation on transboundary carbon capture and storage which will provide options for energy security and carbon management solutions for our regional partners.

Action 6: Update the strategy. 

The Future Gas Strategy has a long-term outlook. The government is closely monitoring the evolving role of gas as the energy transformation progresses and will update the strategy as needed. This includes:

  • reviewing and, where needed, updating near-term policy levers, such as the Gas Market Code, Heads of Agreement and the ADGSM
  • providing tailored policy responses for emerging issues
  • ensuring the strategy continues to support Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.