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Energy Ministers met to discuss recommendations from the Energy Security Board (ESB) on the Post-2025 Market Design project as part of the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee.

The ministers agreed there was a critical need to strengthen investment signals for dispatchability in the market and concluded there was a need to move to detailed design work. 

It was also recognised that the mechanism should encourage investment in new replacement capacity and prevent premature loss of capacity.

The ministers will meet again in September 2021 to agree on the final package of reforms which will be provided to the National Cabinet. 

They agreed it is important to release the ESB’s final advice documents in relation to its recommendations to inform public discussion of these recommendations. 

The meeting also acknowledged advice on cost allocation for inter-regional transmission, and noted further work to be undertaken by the Commonwealth and interested jurisdictions on alternative cost allocation models, with this work to be considered at the next meeting. 

Discussions addressed the ongoing need for a body to coordinate energy market advice, and considered models for a reformed ESB.

The ministers acknowledged the contribution made by the ESB Chair and Deputy Chair to support energy ministers to drive reform and improvements to the energy system.

Following agreements of previous meetings, ministers discussed the development of a work plan for the cyber security priority, and agreed the plan should complement ongoing jurisdictional cyber security reforms. 

In addition, ministers settled on an expedited process to amend the National Gas Law, National Energy Retail Law and subordinate instruments so hydrogen blends, biomethane and other renewable methane gas blends are brought within the national energy regulatory framework. 

This decision is in accordance with previous agreements to a legislative package of reforms that will enhance transparency in Australia’s gas markets.

These changes aim to ensure gas users are getting a fair go through increased price disclosure to help users negotiate short-term gas supply contracts.

The reforms will also see increased reporting on production information, liquefied natural gas export transactions, and key information on gas infrastructure. 

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