Today the AEMC announced that the Victorian declared wholesale gas market (DWGM) review has been extended. The Victorian Government has requested that a final report be provided to governments by 31 August 2017 and published two weeks later.

This follows the publication of a draft final report in October 2016, which set out detailed reforms to address the issues with the DWGM and meet the COAG Energy Council’s vision for the east coast gas market.

The extension will allow further consultation on some of the alternative reform options. We plan to release a discussion paper in late March 2017 to enable stakeholder input on these alternatives.

This review of the Victorian DWGM aims to improve access to a reliable supply of efficiently priced gas for Victorian consumers, while maintaining Victoria’s key role in east coast gas markets as one of two wholesale gas trading hubs.

Recommendations for extensive gas market reform for Australia’s east coast were accepted by the COAG Energy Council in August 2016. The reform package included establishing wholesale gas markets with trading hubs concentrated in Victoria and Queensland; improving access to pipelines; and delivering new and improved information to gas businesses and consumers.

The COAG Energy Council has established a Gas Market Reform Group to implement the reform package in consultation with stakeholders. Work is already underway to improve gas pipeline transportation arrangements, and the development of a northern hub for gas trading at Wallumbilla in Queensland.