APGA is the voice of the Australian pipeline industry, representing the industry to the general public, other industries and to government, strongly arguing the industry’s case whenever and wherever required. APGA committees provide input to our plans for the industry and are also avenues for exchange of information about issues of particular interest.
APGA takes an active role in advocating the positions of the pipeline and gas industries on a range of issues. We are engaged in ongoing conversations with policy-makers, officials and regulators in all sectors of the industry, and with other associations which have similar interests.
There’s no shortage of short and long-term issues and policy processes of potential interest to the pipeline industry. Some of the more enduring or high-priority examples are:
Climate change and energy policy
The relationship between climate and energy policy is a long-standing priority area for APGA. APGA accepts the science of climate change and fully supports technology neutral initiatives to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. Key priorities include: the role of hydrogen as a fuel for the future; support for climate policies like the now sidelined National Energy Guarantee (NEG); and the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings projects which aims to improve the energy efficiency and lower the carbon intensity of energy used in buildings.
Economic regulation of gas pipelines
The pace of economic regulatory reform in recent years has been rapid and shows no sign of abating. Economic regulatory settings are of crucial importance for APGA given their potentially decisive role in determining the economic viability of gas pipeline and network businesses. The key challenge for regulators is striking the right balance between fair and efficient prices for consumers and attracting necessary future investment in the sector. Major economic regulatory reform initiatives include: Australian Energy Market Commission Review into the Scope of Economic Regulation Applied to Covered Pipelines; COAG Regulation Impact Statement focusing on the pipeline regulatory coverage test; and the Australian Energy Regulator's 2018 Review of the Rate of Return Guidelines.
Gas market reforms
There have been many major reforms in gas markets since 2015, many focussed specifically on transmission pipelines. Gas transmission pipelines are service providers to the gas market and APGA fully supports reforms that improve conditions for market participants. APGA has welcomed key developments in this area such as increased market transparency and competition as this is good for gas consumers and therefore good for the gas market as a whole. Ongoing gas market reform initiatives include: capacity trading reforms; new information disclosure and arbitration frameworks; and the ACCC inquiry into gas supply arrangements.
Pipeline corridor land-use change policies
With an increase in land development around urban centres there is a corresponding increase in developments with the potential to encroach on previously rural or semi-rural pipeline corridors. Good progress on land-use planning reforms is being made in Victoria and South Australia. APGA is continuing to work with stakeholders towards a standardised approach that ideally applies on an interstate basis.
Technical regulations and standards are an often hidden but still key factor underpinning the safe and efficient operation of the gas industry. APGA actively engages with State and federal authorities on the development or review of technical regulations and standards. Examples include the Australian Measurement Laws Review of the technical standards used for measuring equipment such as gas flow meters; and our engagement with Standards Australia on how technical standards can help enable the development of the hydrogen industry in Australia.