Greens cast doubt on future of gas code of conduct

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

The future of a mandatory code of conduct for gas producers could be in jeopardy, with the Greens threatening to withhold support for the reforms.

The government unveiled the code in June, saying it would make gas available to customers at reasonable prices for the next two years.

The code was put in place in response to soaring energy prices for consumers, with a price cap of $12 a gigajoule enacted, while some exemptions would apply.

However, the Greens have said they would refer the measures to a Senate inquiry, with the party saying the code had been watered down in favour of gas companies.

"The government should not take our support for this instrument for granted," Greens treasury spokesman Nick McKim said.

"There is no doubt this country needs policies that regulate the greed and unscrupulous behaviour of gas companies, but not at the expense of encouraging new gas fields to open."

Senator McKim took aim at the number of exemptions being offered under the code, which had expanded from five to 13.

Gas producers had urged for the code to support new supply in order to put downward pressure on energy prices.

Senator McKim said the Senate inquiry would inform the party's final position on the code, before a vote in parliament is held in October.

"The Greens are open to sending the government back to the drawing board on this. This should be our opportunity for Australia to wean itself off gas by electrifying homes and business," he said.

"While the Albanese government is again bending over backwards to please Woodside and Santos, it seems to have forgotten that it is the parliament, not the powerful gas cartel, that has the final say on what laws are put in place."