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APGAApr 5, 2024 4:50:40 PM1 min read

AER Pipelines regulatory determinations and elections guideline amendments

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Submission: Pipeline Regulatory Determinations and Elections Guideline

The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) represents the owners, operators, designers, constructors and service providers of Australia’s pipeline infrastructure, connecting natural and renewable gas production to demand centres in cities and other locations across Australia. Offering a wide range of services to gas users, retailers and producers, APGA members ensure the safe and reliable delivery of 28 per cent of the end-use energy consumed in Australia and are at the forefront of Australia’s renewable gas industry, helping achieve net-zero as quickly and affordably as possible.

APGA welcomes the opportunity to comment on the AER’s consultation on proposed amendments to the Pipeline Regulatory Determinations and Elections Guideline.

Section 42 compulsory notices

The AER has been consistent in its approach to date in welcoming stakeholder consultation on its processes, including through regulatory determinations and elections. It is not clear therefore why the AER is proposing the use of information and document provision notices under Section 42 of the National Gas Law following or instead of a Section 16 notice.

These notices are unnecessarily punitive in compelling provision of information for a form of regulation review, and do not provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide comment on whether the notice is warranted.

General regulatory information orders available under Division 4 of the National Gas Law, do provide an opportunity for stakeholders to comment:

Orders under this Division further require the AER to consider matters relevant to a form of regulation review, including considering whether a contributing service is being supplied on a genuinely competitive basis.

APGA recommends that these orders should be pursued before issuing a Section 42 notice.

Written submission consultation period

The amendments appear to suggest the consultation period for stakeholders be shortened from “at least 15 business days” to “15 business days”.

The proposed amendment as drafted provides an unacceptably short timeframe for stakeholders to provide written responses to a complex regulatory processes. It is also inconsistent with the AER’s commitment to consultation with stakeholders.

Finally this amendment may also be inconsistent with the National Gas Rules Standard Consultative Procedure (Rule 8). APGA proposes that this amendment be rescinded.



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