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The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the decision to introduce a mechanism that will allow the Australian Government to restrict gas exports if expert advice forecasts a shortage for domestic use.

Mr Chester said the plan would ensure the Australian market had adequate supplies to support the 65,000 jobs in industries that rely on large amounts of gas.

“Large gas consumers in Gippsland, such as our big manufacturers and factories, as well as local businesses and families have been hit with higher gas prices in recent years,” Mr Chester said.

“They have been paying more for gas than what customers in overseas markets are paying for the same gas exported from Australia.”

“All Australians need to have access to reliable sources of gas and electricity at prices they can afford. We are on track to become the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, but it’s essential that we have enough affordable gas to supply our homes and businesses.”

“The Australian Government’s action will also put downward pressure on gas prices.”

“And that’s welcome news for everyone in Gippsland, particularly for those whose jobs rely on an affordable, secure gas supply.”

The government will introduce the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM), which will give the government the power to impose export controls on companies when there is a shortfall of gas supply in the domestic market.

The mechanism will ensure gas supply in Australia always meets the forecast needs of the local market. The Minister for Resources, in consultation with relevant ministers, will impose export controls based on advice from the market operator and regulator.

Full consultation with industry will now take place with regulations to be in place by July 1, 2017.

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