From time to time the Minister of Energy and Resources (the Minister) requests advice from Gas Industry Co on important issues in the gas industry. In February 2010, the then Associate Minister of Energy and Resources requested advice on the suitability of applying Gas Industry Co's Guidelines on Interconnection with Transmission Pipelines (Guidelines) to private transmission pipelines.
Gas Industry Co's advice to the Associate Minister was that the application of the voluntary Guidelines to private pipelines is unlikely to improve access to private pipelines. In particular:
- the Guidelines were designed for open access pipelines and only relate to interconnection arrangements; and
- to improve access to private pipelines, the Guidelines would need to address the issues arising from the carriage of non-specification gas.
Gas Industry Co, however found merit in formalising a protocol for the collection and assessment of information regarding access disputes and related matters between the then Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and Gas Industry Co. The protocol will assist Gas Industry Co and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (then MED) in monitoring access disputes and ultimately forming a judgement on whether further investigation or regulatory reform is warranted.