IPART have released a draft report today proposing to allow gas companies to ramp up prices paid by NSW consumers from July. The report admits that prices are being increased because the export of coal seam gas from Queensland has linked domestic gas prices to international prices.
The report reveals that gas prices are set to rise by hundreds of dollars in eastern Australia from July, largely due to plans by the gas industry to start exporting gas from Queensland, leading to export parity pricing in Australia.
IPART states in its press release today that, "The ability to export Liquid Natural Gas is driving a structural change in eastern Australia’s wholesale gas market, and increasingly domestic gas prices will be influenced by what is happening in world gas markets," he said.
IPART’s report today recommends price rises amounting to between $150 and $225 for NSW households.
"This report confirms that the CSG export industry is driving domestic gas prices upwards and reducing domestic supply,” said Phil Laird, National Coordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance.
"It is a terrible outcome for regional communities, who not only have to deal with the damage to land and water from dangerous CSG mining, but now face escalating gas prices in a bitter double blow.
"Gas companies like Origin are making local consumers bear the cost of their plans to pursue world prices and massive profits. IPART is basically proposing to accommodate their profiteering, and NSW regional communities and consumers will pay the cost.
"AGL Energy are trying to force CSG on the small community of Gloucester, threatening their water resources, whilst at the same time ramping up domestic gas prices. It’s no wonder communities are up in arms about this industry and the lobbyists who have aided and abetted CSG, much to the detriment of our national interest.”
"This report today exposes the bogus CSG industry scare campaign on gas prices: it is the CSG industry itself, through its export plans, that is causing gas prices to rise and no amount of CSG drilling in NSW can bring those prices back down now that we are captured by the world trade.”
"Without a gas reservation policy, gas prices will continue to rise. The new Premier has a chance to put his foot down now on the escalating profits of gas companies in this state and to protect our land and water resources from invasive gas drilling.”"Coal seam gas is going to cost the people of NSW dearly this Winter. Consumers will be facing hikes in their gas bills caused by the export CSG industry and families will be facing invasive gas drilling threatening their land and water."
A final decision on retail gas price increases is due from IPART in June this year, and information about the IPART gas retail price review, including submissions by gas companies, is available here.
Lock the Gate’s submission to the gas price review is available here.