'Not acceptable': Prime Minister warns Gladstone's LNG plants
TODAY the pressure is on the multi-billion dollar Curtis Island LNG companies to resolve the nation's looming gas crisis.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is warning Australia's largest exporters of gas, including Curtis Island's QCLNG, APLNG and GLNG, they need to start looking after Australians.
Ahead of today's meeting with ten gas leaders, Mr Turnbull said he was "determined to find a solution" to the looming domestic shortage.
It's feared a shortage in gas will lead to extreme power outages and could drive up Australian's electricity bills.
"I can say that the gas companies, I have no doubt, are very well aware that they operate with the benefit of a social licence from the Australian people and they cannot expect to maintain that, if while billions of dollars of gas are being exported, Australians are left short," Mr Turnbull said.
"The Commonwealth Government has considerable power with respect to any exports of any items, including gas, of course.
"But what I'm seeking to do is to ensure we have action from the gas companies.
Market experts, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, say Gladstone's three LNG export sites are partly responsible for the domestic shortage by using more third party gas than expected to fulfil international export contracts.
A report from the Australian Energy Market Operator found New South Wales and South Australia could face supply risks as early as summer 2018-19, Victoria in 2020-21 and Queensland between 2030-36.
"It is not acceptable for Australia shortly to become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to not have enough gas for its own families and its own businesses," Mr Turnbull said.
"So we're seeking action today at the meeting. We're determined to resolve this gas crisis."
As well as proposing a domestic gas reserve policy, Mr Turnbull will also pressure state governments including Victoria, Northern Territory and New South Wales to lift gas exploration bans.
"But the bottom line is this - Australians need reliable, affordable gas, whether it is for heating their homes or for cooking at home, or for running big industries that employ thousands of Australians."