NZ unable to help Australia with latest energy crisis

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Mike Cannon-Brookes"It's certainly gone a lot further than I thought it would. Les Hewitt

"The way in which your government has treated this state is the most anti-South Australia government we've seen from a Commonwealth government in living memory". "Alternatively, they could develop additional gas for the domestic market". We are shortly to become the largest exporter of LNG in the world.

During an unscheduled live joint press conference in Adelaide, Mr Weatherill and Mr Frydenberg hurled insults and barbs at each other over their respective government's behaviour on energy policy, with the uncomfortable display exciting energy experts, who measured record levels of tension.

It comes a day after South Australia announced it would spend more than $500 million to build a new gas-fired power plant and Australia's largest battery in an attempt to secure the state's energy supplies.

Turnbull warned gas chiefs the commonwealth would not be afraid to use its powers to control exports if the domestic gas supply commitment was not fulfilled. Both the Federal government and the oil and gas corporates are adamant that these moratoriums have to be lifted fast to avert an energy crisis threatening to buckle the Australian economy.

Thirdly, South Australia's Minister for Energy will be given strong new powers to direct the national market in the case of an electricity supply shortfall.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull summoned the big energy companies to Canberra today to urge them to supply more gas locally.

"It is utterly untenable, unacceptable, for us to be in a position where domestic gas consumers - whether it's generators, whether it's businesses and industry, or whether it's families - can not have access to affordable gas".

State Opposition Leader Steven Marshall also sounded a warning on affordability, particularly the measure to require retailers to source a percentage of energy from local generators rather than Victorian coal through the interconnector.

But gas bosses claim monopoly pricing arrangements for east coast pipelines should be reformed as it's now more expensive to transport gas around Australia than to send overseas.

The Australian Industry Group said the State Government's package was a "serious response" to the state's energy problems.

Mr Smith said it cost Shell $3.50 to send a gigajoule of gas from Queensland to Victoria but it cost just $3 to send the same amount to the US.

"Our State has built its reputation on clean, green environment and this plan recognises that clean energy is our future", said Weatherill.

"Households rely on gas supplies to provide an affordable means to heat their homes".

Turnbull also took aim Wednesday at State restrictions on gas development. Roberts said the Victorian government, which has banned all gas development, was now "very exposed". Suggesting that we want to work together is a disgrace. "At first blush these initiatives will help stabilise SA's segment of the electricity market by delivering extra energy supply at critical times".

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