The National Gas Rules govern access to natural gas pipeline services and elements of broader natural gas markets.

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The Rules are made by the AEMC under the National Gas Law and have the force of law. They are amended regularly by the AEMC or, in special and limited circumstances, by the South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources & Energy who is the Minister responsible for the AEMC to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

In making the rules, the AEMC is required by law to apply the National Gas Objective.

Participating jurisdictions under the National Gas Law are South Australia, the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, and Western Australia on a modified basis.

The National Gas Law and the National Gas Rules bring responsibility for regulation of access to natural gas pipeline services provided by transmission and distribution pipelines under the national energy market framework.

The rules:

  • govern the wholesale gas balancing markets in the eastern gas market
  • govern the wholesale and retail gas markets of northern and eastern Australia
  • provide the basis for third party access to regulated transmission and distribution pipelines and an information and arbitration framework for non-regulated pipelines
  • facilitate the provision of services to retail customers - see Energy retail markets
  • govern the operation of the Short Term Trading Market (STTM) in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, the Declared Wholesale Gas Market in Victoria, the Gas Supply Hubs and the Natural Gas Services Bulletin Board.

The arrangements for access to and provision of gas pipeline services also apply in Western Australia. In Western Australia some aspects of the National Gas Rules are applied by the Economic Regulation Authority of Western Australia rather than the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

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