Australians have been warned of the potential for a serious gas shortage to hit the east coast earlier than anticipated, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) saying new sources and supply are needed to avoid the shortfall.

The consumer watchdog, in its latest report released this week, predicted the shortage to be felt by 2027 instead of 2028 – a year earlier than what it estimated just months ago.

It attributed the change to an increase in consumption and a decline in supply thanks to new gas projects and production issues in legacy gas fields.

The east coast is facing potential gas power shortfalls in the coming years. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In the short term, the ACCC warned of a potential shortfall next winter, when demand is typically higher as people use more energy to warm their homes.

Southern states – New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania – will be left relying on Queensland for gas supply for the foreseeable future, it said.

The ACCC said Queensland will have to send gas to southern states to avoid shortfalls in the second and third quarter of 2025.

But, from 2029, Queensland will need new sources of supply itself. 

“The variability of demand for gas and reliance on interstate transfers of gas emphasise the need for sufficient gas pipeline and storage capacity, in addition to gas production,” the ACCC said.

Queensland will be relied on to provide gas to other states, but is facing potential shortages itself in the future. (Nine)

The report found that east coast gas market prices have continued to fall, with retailers dropping prices by about 16 per cent.

The report comes as new data from the Australian Energy Regulator showed electricity and gas bills are providing the greatest amount of financial stress for Queenslanders right now.

Almost 32,000 people have declared they can’t pay their bills – up by 11,000 from last year.

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