National News

Government weighs options as gas prices continue spike

The Federal Government is scrambling to find a solution to the nation's worsening energy crisis, as it comes under increasing pressure to secure more gas for Australia.

Electricity prices are rising to up to six times higher than what they would normally be, reaching $600 a megawatt hour in the eastern states.

The government is weighing up whether to intervene in the market to quarantine supply for citizens.

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Although Australia's domestic gas supply is stretched, the country remains the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world.

Another option for the government would be pulling the "gas trigger" – a mechanism that would force producers to sell gas locally rather than overseas.

"The Albanese Labor government will take whatever action is necessary to ensure ongoing reliability and affordability," Energy Minister Chris Bowen said yesterday.

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen has rejected the suggestion the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism would be an immediate solution to the country's gas shortage.

However, the effects "gas trigger" option would not be felt until early next year.

The government has warned there is no short-term fix to the problem.

Resources Minister Madeleine King spoke to energy bosses yesterday, some of whom have blamed state opposition to new oil and gas projects for the domestic shortage.

Earlier this week the Australian Energy Market Operator activated the Gas Supply Guarantee mechanism for the first time.

This saw LNG exporters in Queensland divert gas to Vicotira, South Australia and Tasmania to ensure enough supply.

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