The essential role of gas in Australia’s energy security confirmed by Future Gas Strategy outlook

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Gas will play an essential role in Australia’s energy security. Image for illustration purposes only.

Australia’s government has released a strategic report underlining the critical role natural gas will play in the nation’s energy security within a net zero economy to 2050 and beyond. 

Its Future Gas Strategy consumption and production plan, released on Thursday, also recognised the need for continued investment in new gas supply.

Australian Energy Producers - which represents explorers, developers and producers of essential energy - said the strategy would provide clear direction on national energy policy, supporting the central role of gas in the economy and Australia’s energy transformation. 

Providing a roadmap

Samantha McCulloch, Australian Energy Producers’ Chief Executive, said: “The Future Gas Strategy sends a clear message that gas has a critical long-term role in Australia’s energy mix to provide reliable and affordable energy to homes and businesses and drive domestic manufacturing to 2050 and beyond. 

“The strategy needs to be backed by clear, tangible actions that urgently unlock new gas supply to address looming shortfalls and provide an unequivocal signal to the market that Australia is committed to ensuring sustainable gas supply to the Australian economy and the region.”

Outlining certainty

McCulloch said the strategy provided an opportunity to reset the country’s gas policy and laid a foundation for meaningful reforms to the government’s gas policy to provide more regulatory certainty, progress new supply projects, and restore investor confidence, as well as Australia’s reputation as a reliable energy partner.

The gas sector employs 20,000 across Australia, including in remote and regional communities.

The CEO also stressed that government commitment in the strategy to remain a “reliable and trusted trade and investment partner” had to recognise significant growth in LNG demand in the region to 2050.

Government-level support

McCulloch continued: “In addition to the significant economic and strategic benefits from Australia’s LNG trade with countries like Japan, Korea, and Malaysia, our LNG exports also have an important role to play in the energy security and decarbonisation of our region.

“It would be short-sighted and at odds with Australia’s commitment to global emissions reductions if we were to stifle LNG exports and miss out on the significant economic opportunity on our doorstep.”

Collaboration required

Business Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Bran Black, welcomed the strategy document. He said reaching net zero would only be possible if there was a stable power source to enable the shift from coal-fired generation to renewables, which was where gas, with 50% less emissions than coal, played a critical role. 

McCulloch, meanwhile, said industry would continue to work with government to ensure its strategy translated to tangible outcomes that ensure Australia’s long-term energy security. 

“The success of the strategy will be determined by whether it delivers meaningful policy reforms that address the barriers to new gas supply and investment, and that recognise the central role of gas in the energy transformation,” she added.


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