2024 Gas Ban Information Hub

This page was last updated: 1/12/2023 at 9:34am

On Friday 28th July 2023 the Victorian Government announced that they will be refusing gas connections in new domestic builds from 1 January 2024. This decision came without any consultation with industry and was short on detail.

Master Plumbers has expressed its concerns widely, both regarding the decision and the way it was announced.

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action held an online briefing on Monday 31st July,  which had very limited opportunity for interaction with participants and little additional information. In short, our industry still does not have the detail we are seeking, and the government is yet to give industry a time frame for providing it.

Master Plumbers has spoken to members and stakeholders across our industry over the following few days and below is a summary of what we know so far, useful links, frequently asked questions and any other information we can compile. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.

We have also commenced an independent assessment of the purported benefits and costs on which the ban is predicated and will have more to say on this later.

Peter Daly

What changes have been announced?

Last Friday, the Victorian Government announced the following changes:

1.    From 1 January 2024, planning permits for new homes and residential subdivisions will no longer be approved unless the property is fully electrified and does not have an active gas connection to it. This includes new public and social housing delivered by Homes Victoria.

2.    Commencing immediately, all new public buildings that haven’t reached design stage will also be all-electric. This includes new schools, hospitals, police stations and other government-owned buildings.

3.    Any residential building that has commenced or has a planning permit approved before 1 January 2024 will be allowed to have a gas connection installed.

4.    A small sum of $1M has been allocated for the education and retraining of trades people across Victoria.

Important Resources

FAQs about the ban

These questions have been asked of us or we have asked ourselves regarding the ban.

No. You can keep gas for a kitchen renovation. The ban for connection to natural gas is currently restricted to planning permits lodged after 1st Jan 2024. Only construction that requires a building permit will be affected.

Existing and future homes that wish to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are not restricted to do so, either via exchange cylinders or “insitu tanks”.

Homes will still be able to use liquefied petroleum gas, where the gas is stored in a large tank.

More than 300,000 homes in Victoria – mainly regional - currently use LPG for either in-home cooking, hot water and heating.

Only if you get a planning permit finalised and approved by January 1 2024. After that, you will not be able to install gas appliances.

(This would depend on whether this activity needs a planning permit, eg if the existing block is for residential housing then it may not require a planning permit. if you wanted to put in 3 units then it possibly would.)

Any new development lodged after 1st Jan 2024 will not have access to a natural gas connection or would it have a requirement to include a reticulated natural gas supply to the proposed development.

Absolutely not. Currently you are permitted to retain, replace or install any new gas appliances to your property. 

No. This Victorian Govt policy is aimed at new residential construction only. There is nothing that suggests that any consumer cannot retain a gas BBQ in an existing property and nothing to suggest that you cannot own or operate a BBQ with an LPG bottle in a new property next year.

The State Governments Gas Substitution Roadmap has a number of key milestones, in 2022 the State Govt removed the existing requirement for new development to have mandatory access to natural gas.

The banning of natural gas for new planning permits was a surprising decision made by Government with no engagement from industry, neither was there any indication that the access to natural gas was causing the Gas Transition Roadmap to fall behind any 2030 targets.

Our Association acknowledges the need to move away from burning fossil fuels and to move further towards sustainable electrification of the Victorian energy sector.

We would contend however that to do so in a manner that potentially places further pressure on the existing electrical supply which is still predominantly produced by burning coal and natural gas isn’t necessarily the answer.

The Government is on record as supporting alternatives to natural gas such as hydrogen and bio-gas in a State that has a huge reliance on natural gas as an energy source, withdrawing the supply of natural gas to new and emerging properties could be seen as removing the clean gas alternatives for future consumers. Not the least of which is the potential for depriving consumers from cost-effective transition to full electrification.

Important Technical Resources and Media Articles

Articles Regarding the Future of Hydrogen in Vic