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Australia: Deal to cut energy costs closer, says PM

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is confident of reaching agreement on a plan to ease energy costs.

Soaring energy costs have sparked negotiations between Anthony Albanese and premiers to cut prices. © Darren England/AAP PHOTOS Soaring energy costs have sparked negotiations between Anthony Albanese and premiers to cut prices.

Speaking at a business event in Canberra on Wednesday, Mr Albanese said energy policy inaction under the former government was magnifying the shocks caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Soaring energy prices have forced the government to consider a price cap on gas or some other form of regulatory intervention.

"I fully appreciate that rising energy costs are putting significant pressure on your businesses, as well as family budgets around Australia," Mr Albanese said at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry gala.

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"I'm confident we will be able to reach agreement on a plan that delivers for every part of Australia."

Mr Albanese will meet state and territory counterparts next Wednesday to discuss plans to lower energy costs.

The Queensland premier has raised concerns about federal intervention in energy markets.

Annastacia Palaszczuk told state parliament on Tuesday Queensland was doing the heavy lifting when it came to gas production and she would seek compensation if the Commonwealth intervened in supply.

In the long term, efforts to decarbonise and stabilise the energy grid are expected to break the pattern of crisis and intervention, Mr Albanese said.

"That's why our October budget delivered $24 billion in funding for cleaner, cheaper energy, including the first of our rewiring the nation projects."

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Australia also has a "transformational opportunity" to supply the world with the critical minerals needed to power the net zero transition.

"Exporting resources will always be a key part of our national economic success," the prime minister said.

Industry Minister Ed Husic admitted there could be some disagreement between jurisdictions on elements of the plan, but said there was a need to act.

"We'll work through those issues, but I have a lot of faith in the fact that the states recognise with us that we need to get those prices down," he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

"There's also a recognition by states ... being a sense of unity around the need to lower prices and to find a way through."

While an announcement is yet to be made, the government is expected to call for a guaranteed domestic gas supply from gas producers, along with a mandatory code of conduct.

The prime minister had previously promised to announce a strategy on curbing gas and energy prices before Christmas.

The recent federal budget forecast power prices would increase by more than 50 per cent during the next two years, while gas is expected to rise 44 per cent in the same period.

Mr Husic said lowering gas prices would be one part of the measures on the energy market.

"The gas companies are finally getting it that we are dead serious about seeing these prices drop," he said.

He said the government would not accept the industry's "unfettered ability to make profit, no matter the cost of the rest of the country".

The AWU has called for gas to be capped at between $8 to $10 per gigajoule, but the government is expected to cap the price about $12.

In Bègles, energy suppliers will no longer be able to cut the current in the event of unpaid .
© Antoine WDO / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP in the face of the explosion of energy and increase In the number of French people having difficulty paying their bills, the mayor of Bègles en Gironde decided to make a radical decision. Now in his town, suppliers will be impossible to cut electricity in the event of unpaid. This is a welcome budget extension within the framework of the flambé of energy prices . The National Assembly voted this Wednesday an additional envelope of 2.5 billion euro

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