Police look into Chinese language felony syndicate cash laundering in Victoria, NSW; Chris Bowen, vitality ministers agree new plan

Energy Minister Chris Bowen says giving the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the ability to buy and store gas for use during energy shortages will be “implemented quickly”.

Bowen met with state energy ministers met on Wednesday and agreed to an 11-point plan to deal with the immediate energy issues and to create a national transition plan to phase out fossil fuels and strengthen the energy grid to withstand more challenging weather conditions.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen at the energy ministers’ meetingCredit:AAP

Wholesale energy prices have been soaring just as winter begins and Bowen hopes that the energy market operator can help release some of those cost pressures by purchasing gas for use when prices surge.

“It’s a big step forward,” Bowen told RN Breakfast on Thursday.

“Some of the steps will apply very quickly and others of them are an agreement to work in the medium term and these are all important things.

“There was a real spirit of co-operation around the room and state and territory colleagues had Labor, Liberal and Greens represented at the table, and we all agree that we’re in this task together.

“Some of the immediate things are like giving AEMO the power to buy gas and keep it in storage can be released in crises like the ones we faced last week will have a pretty early effect, and certainly give us more powers to help us navigate crises like thesis [in future].”

“That will be implemented very quickly and gives AEMO those powers to help us navigate this crisis and ones in the near future, as opposed to, say, our agreement to have what I call a supercharged, integrated systems plan and agreement to have all the investments across all the technologies necessary for the messy transition that we need to do to renewables to have that integrated and state federal level.”

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