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June 2024 – Market Update

Market Update – June 2024

Low wind and gas production had an impact on prices across the National Electricity Market in June, while New South Wales normalised after a challenging May.

Spot Market 

In the spot market, prices were impacted by low wind production in the southern states, as well as increased gas prices due to low gas production and system-wide constraints. 

At the same time, colder weather drove up demand across the board, leading to higher prices in Queensland (finishing up $31.98 at $124.67) and Victoria (up $31.26 at $164.23).  

Despite these factors, prices in New South Wales actually fell – closing the month down $120.81 at $152.75. This reflects the state’s extremely high spot prices in May, which were partly driven by line constraints and outages that were resolved by June.

Contract market

Prices in New South Wales also fell in the contract market, with the Cal 25 price finishing the month down $6 at $130.40. Again, this says more about the volatility New South Wales experienced in May than it does about conditions in June.

In Queensland and Victoria, the ongoing wind droughts and high gas prices that pushed up spot prices in those states also drove Cal 25 prices higher – up 55 cents in Queensland (at $112.10) and up $3.10 in Victoria (at $84.35). 

The drop in New South Wales prices rippled through to Cal 26, down $5 at $131. There was little volatility otherwise, though, with the Queensland Cal 26 price finishing the month up 5 cents (at $103.40) and Victoria finishing down $1.95 (at $76). 

 

Environmental market

In the environmental sector, we saw high levels of liquidity in the market for Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). This placed downward pressure on prices, which finished the month down 50 cents at $45.50.

Meanwhile, renewed buying interest in the carbon market drove up the price of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which closed $1.25 higher at $34.25.

The Clearing House for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) returned to surplus, but trading stayed close to the Clearing House price of $40 at $39.90. 

By the end of the month, the Clearing House was only in surplus by about 6,000 certificates, indicating a likely return to deficit by the Q2 surrender deadline on July 28.

And that’s another recap of the month. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we can add value to your business or support your decarbonisation goals, please reach out to our team.

Have a great month ahead, and we’ll see you here again next month.

 

 

 

 

May 2024 – Market Update

Market Update – May 2024

Spot market prices increased significantly in May – and that volatility sent ripples through the forward market.

Spot market

The  spot market was impacted by a perfect storm of unit outages and low wind output last month, which saw  prices increase significantly. 

New South Wales was hardest hit, with temporary constraints on the Queensland-New South Wales Interconnector limiting the flow of power down south when it was needed most. 

The spot price finished the month up $7.94 in Queensland (at $92.69), up $183.68 in New South Wales (at $273.56), and up $48.22 in Victoria (at $132.97).

Contract market

The spike in spot prices was a stark reminder of just how volatile the market can be when impacted by external forces. It sent ripples through the forward market, pushing up the curve.

Cal 25 prices finished the month up $14.05 in Queensland (at $111.55), up $26.85 in New South Wales (at $136.40), and up $9.05 in Victoria (at $81.25). 

Cal 26 prices also increased as a result of that volatility, finishing the month up $10.10 in Queensland (at $103.35), up $25.85 in New South Wales (at $136), and up $9.20 in Victoria (at $77.95). 

 

Environmental market

The environmental market was remarkably steady by comparison, but high levels of liquidity did put a little downward pressure on prices for Large-Scale Generation certificates (LGCs), which closed the month down 35 cents at $46, and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which finished down $1 at $33.


In other news, the Clearing House for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) moved out of deficit and back into surplus during May. 

This shift allowed wholesale STC trading to resume, though mostly at prices very close to the Clearing House rate of $40. STC prices ultimately finished the month at $39.90, with no change from the previous month.

 

And that’s another recap of the month. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we can add value to your business or support your decarbonisation goals, please reach out to our team.

Have a great month ahead, and we’ll see you here again next month.

 

 

 

 

April 2024 – Market Update

Market Update – April 2024

Spot prices were on the rise in the energy market this month – and that had a flow-on effect for the forward market.

Spot market

In the spot market, unit outages and low winds lead to rising prices across the National Electricity Market. The spot price finished up $10.66 in Queensland (at $84.75), up $19.42 in New South Wales (at $89.89), and up $32.76 in Victoria (at $84.75), where wind makes up a larger proportion of generation.

Contract market

Those higher-than-expected prices in the spot market have also had an impact on the contract market.

Bullish sentiment saw the curve push up considerably throughout the month, but it cooled off somewhat on the last day of April, following reports that Australia’s largest coal-fired power station will remain open past its expected closure date in 2025. Cal 25 prices ultimately finished up $8.75 in Queensland (at $97.50), up $8.20 in New South Wales (at $109.55), and up $8 in Victoria (at $72.20).

When we look ahead to Cal 26, we can see that same sentiment leading to similar price increases across the board, finishing the month up $5.70 in Queensland (at $93.25), up $6.65 in New South Wales (at $110.15), and up $6 in Victoria (at $68.75).

Environmental market

In the environmental market, an increase in buying demand has put upward pressure on prices for both Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), finishing up 10 cents at $46.35.


Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) also closed higher, up 75 cents at $34.

The clearing house for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) returned to deficit close to the Q1 surrender deadline. That led STC creators to sell to the clearing house, rather than engage in wholesale trading, resulting in a price increase – finishing up five cents at $39.90.

And that’s it for April! We look forward to seeing you for another market update next month.

 

 

 

 

 

March 2024 – Market Update

March was a relatively uneventful month in the energy market, but a busy month for the Stanwell Energy team, as we took to the road with our new Progressive Purchasing Portal.

Throughout the month, our Retail team visited our partners and consultants in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to demonstrate our brand new Progressive Purchasing Portal.

The Portal allows our customers to submit offers to purchase energy online at live market prices, at their own convenience, progressively throughout the life of their contract.

Our portal puts the power back in your hands, by allowing you to purchase energy when you choose. This will only enhance the experience for our valued customers, making the purchasing process more accessible, convenient and manageable.

If you missed out on one of these presentations, please reach out to us for a demonstration!

Now, let’s take a look at the state of the market in March.

 

Spot market

In the spot market, we saw prices fall across the board – closing at $74.09 in Queensland (down $45.64), $70.47 in New South Wales (down $41.20), and $51.99 in Victoria (down $30.95).

This was mainly due to high unit availability in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. At the same time, we had relatively mild weather in all three states. That helped to drive down demand, and prices fell accordingly.

Contract market

 

In the contract market, low liquidity and less volume trading overall in generic baseload swaps had led the curve to drift downwards in February.

That drop in price led to a bit of buying in March – enough for prices to go up slightly, finishing the month at $88.75 in Queensland (up 50 cents), $101.35 in New South Wales (up $2.35), and $64.20 in Victoria (up $3.40) – but not enough to really move the needle this month.

Looking ahead to Cal 26, prices are similarly flat. In Queensland, the Cal 26 price finished the month at $87.55, up $1.60.

In New South Wales, continued speculation on the lifespan of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station led to a slight drop in price – closing at $103.50, down $1.55.

In Victoria, where Cal 26 prices have been on the decline for months, we saw the back end crawl up to be more in line with the Cal 25 price – closing at $62.75, up $5.75.

This follows an incident in February that saw extreme winds topple six of the state’s high voltage transmission towers. That led to a sharp, sudden rise in the spot price, which seems to have spurred some interest in the forward market there.

Environmental market 


In the environmental market, an increase in retail buying led to a small uptick in prices for Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), which closed the month at $46.25 (up 50 cents).


Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) saw a similarly slight price increase, closing at $39.85 (up 20 cents).


Speculation around the supply of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) led the price of those units to rally throughout the month. But as those rumours cooled off, so did ACCU prices, ultimately closing at $33.25 (down $1.75).

And that’s it for March! We look forward to seeing you for another market update next month – and don’t forget to get in touch if you want a demonstration of our Progressive Purchasing Portal in the meantime!

 

 

February 2024 – Market Update

 

 

Spot market

In the spot market, we saw the most activity in Victoria, where extreme winds toppled six of the state’s high voltage transmission towers and took out two sets of 500 kilovolt transmission lines.

This led to an interruption of electricity supply for about two hours as the power system stabilised. The Value of Lost Load (VOLL) during this time contributed to the average spot price rising to $82.94 for the month, up $60.85.

Meanwhile, we saw prices soften in Queensland, after high temperatures, humidity and record dew points had led to a new demand record being set last month. While it was still hot in February, conditions weren’t as extreme, which led to the average spot price falling to $119.73, down $40.70.

On the other hand, New South Wales experienced some particularly warm weather throughout the month after a relatively subdued January, leading demand to rise. This led the state’s spot price to rise to $111.66, up $30.49.

Contract market

The activity in the spot market wasn’t enough to make a major impact on the contract market this month. Cal 25 prices fell slightly in each state, finishing at $88.25 in Queensland (down $2.25); $99 in New South Wales (down $3.80); and $60.80 in Victoria (down $3.35).

With low liquidity and less volume trading overall, prices started to trend down slowly. Looking ahead to Cal 26, the relative illiquidity in the market has led prices to drop across the curve, finishing at $85.95 in Queensland (down $3.55); $105.05 in New South Wales (down $6.25); and $57 in Victoria (down $7).

Environmental market 

In the environmental market, Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) are trading slightly lower at $44.50 (down $1.25). This follows the passing of the Cal 23 surrender deadline on February 14, which eased buying requirements.

Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) continue to trade in the $35 to $36 range, opening at the former and closing at the latter.

Meanwhile, Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) closed the month trading at $39.65, close to the clearing house price of $40.

That’s it for February! We look forward to seeing you back here next month, when we’ll update you on market conditions again.

 

January 2024 – Market Update

 

 

Spot market

In the spot market, we saw prices rise sharply in Queensland, where sweltering temperatures and high humidity led to a new maximum record demand.

At 5pm on January 22, demand for electricity smashed through the 11,000 megawatt mark for the first time ever, sailing past the previous record of 10,070 megawatts set last March.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a massive 9.3 per cent increase on the previous record.

As the sun set and solar generation ramped down, prices ramped up, peaking at $9,799.63 per megawatt hour for the 6:25 and 6:30 dispatch periods, before demand subsided throughout the evening.

For the month, Queensland finished up $67.44 at $160.43. Those higher prices filtered down to New South Wales, to a less dramatic extent (up $12.92 at $81.17), but in Victoria, prices actually fell throughout the month (finishing down $3.19 at $22.10), as Southerners enjoyed mild weather and plenty of availability.

Contract market

In the contract market, this reminder of just how volatile the spot market can be contributed to a slight price rise for Cal 25 in Queensland (up 75 cents at $90.50).

Cal 25 prices were down slightly in New South Wales, which wasn’t as heavily affected (down 35 cents at $102.80). Cal 25 prices also fell in Victoria (down $4 at $64.15), on the back of low spot market prices and cheap gas.

Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are following the same trends in Queensland (up 45 cents at $89.50) and Victoria (down $3.60 at $64). The slight uptick in the New South Wales price (up 75 cents at $111.30), reflects the imminent closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Eraring.

Environmental market 

Turning our attention to the environmental market, we saw prices drop for Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs, closing the month down $2.75 at $45.75). With LGC participants finalising their requirements for their 2023 liability, demand for these certificates has fallen.

Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) finished the month $2 higher at $35. This increase was largely driven by buying demand from liable entities entering the market.

Meanwhile, prices were up slightly for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs, up 35 cents at $39.65), on the back of some late buying of 2023 certificates.

That’s it for January. We’re crossing our fingers for a cooler, less humid February, when we’ll update you on market conditions again.

 

November 2023 – Market Update

 

 

Spot market

In the spot market, we saw prices buck the downward trend of the last few months and go up in Queensland (finishing the month up $35.92 at $72.97), New South Wales (up $45.27 at $87.35) and Victoria (up $17.75 at $34.94).

There were a few reasons for this. There was more cloud coverage compared to October, pushing the renewable output to lower levels. This meant we didn’t see the same periods of negative pricing in November that brought down the average price in October.

November also saw unplanned outages in New South Wales that pushed spot prices higher.

Due to warmer weather throughout November, there was also more demand for air conditioning at all hours of the day, which contributed to the rise in spot prices.

Contract market

While prices were on the rise in the spot market, it was a different story in the forward market.

The expected return of a number of units that have been offline means there’s shaping up to be plenty of generation availability in the year ahead, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales.

That optimistic forecast for availability has led Cal 25 prices to decrease – finishing the month down $2.40 in Queensland at $91.25; down $8.05 in New South Wales at $106.35; and down 50 cents in Victoria at $68.20.

Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are following the same trend, and are also down across the board. Queensland finished down 60 cents at $89.65; New South Wales down $6.90 at $111.55; and Victoria down $2.50 at $67.

Environmental market 

It was an eventful month in the environmental market.

The Federal Government announced an expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme. This announcement has put downward pressure on the price of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), which finished down $2.60 at $46.90.

On the other hand, buying demand picked up throughout the month for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which closed $1.75 higher at $32.00.

Finally, the clearing house for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) entered surplus during the month, which meant wholesale trading of these certificates resumed. This resulted in STC prices falling, and by the end of November, they were trading consistently at $39.30, down 60 cents on last month.

That’s it for the November wrap. We hope you’ve enjoyed our 2023 market updates, and from all of us at Stanwell Energy, we wish you a safe holiday season.

 

October 2023 – Market Update

Prices were down, down, down in the spot market in October, and the follow-on effects filtered through to the contract market.

Spot market

Turning our attention to the spot market, we saw prices continue to decrease across the east coast throughout October.

A combination of relatively mild weather and strong renewable output led to a decrease in demand for energy from the grid throughout the month, which caused prices to fall in Queensland (down $13.72 at $37.05), New South Wales (down $22.46 at $42.09) and Victoria (down $9.12 at $17.19).

 

Contract market

In the contract market, prices have also fallen across the east coast, reflecting the continued drop in price in the spot market. Cal 25 prices finished the month lower in Queensland (down $8.05 at $93.65), New South Wales (down $11 at $114.40) and Victoria (down $4.50 at $68.70).

Looking further ahead, Cal 26 prices are also following the trend set by the spot market, dropping in Queensland (down $5.50 at $90.25), New South Wales (down $10.30 at $118.45) and Victoria (down $5.50 at $69.50).

Environmental market 

 

The environmental market tends to be quiet in October, and this year was no exception.

With more sellers than buyers in the market, we saw minor decreases in the prices of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs, down $2.25 at $49.50) and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs, down 15 cents at $30.25).

Prices for Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) actually fell at the start of the month, as the STC Clearing House finally came out of deficit and a level of wholesale trading resumed.

 

As the month went on however, buyers started purchasing STCs for their Quarter 3 liability, and the Clearing House re-entered deficit. That led to STC prices bouncing back towards the usual $40 mark, finishing the month down just 10 cents at $39.90.

By the end of the month, the Clearing House was in deficit by 1.3 million certificates.

And that’s it for October – good luck to everyone growing out their moustaches for Movember, and we’ll see you back here for another update next month!

 

Samantha Menear headshot

Meet your Stanwell Energy Account Manager: Samantha Menear

Samantha Menear headshot

Samantha Menear brings nearly a decade of experience in the energy sector, working across both the gas and electricity markets, to her role as an Account Manager at Stanwell Energy. 

With a strong background in both operations and customer service, Samantha has a keen eye for detail, a knack for identifying opportunities for process improvements and increased efficiencies, and a drive to create positive customer experiences. 

She is always looking for opportunities to add value for our customers, and is particularly skilled at tailoring energy solutions to the specific needs of commercial and industrial businesses.  

As well as being a reliable and proactive point of contact for our customers, Samantha prides herself on developing and maintaining productive, mutually beneficial relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders throughout the wider industry. 

It’s this commitment to excellence, and a proven willingness to go above and beyond, that makes Samantha an invaluable asset to both Stanwell Energy and our customers.

September-October 2023 Energy Industry Insights

Energy Industry Insights 

 Over the past month, a lot happened on the political front:

During September 2023, the Australian Government released its Future Gas Strategy consultation paper, which aims to establish a plan for gas production, consumption and substitution as Australia works towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The strategy will provide a medium-term (to 2035) and long-term (to 2050) plan for Australian gas. Two tenets of the plan will be to reduce demand for gas more quickly than supply is reduced (to avoid disruptions and price volatility) and the ongoing development of gas resources, in ways which support Australia’s net zero objectives (e.g. through emissions reduction, capture and offsets).

Commonwealth Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, announced the $2.0 billion Hydrogen Headstart program is now open for applications.

In early-October 2023, BHP CEO, Mike Henry, spoke at the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee 60th Annual Joint Business Conference, and called for policy clarity to ensure ongoing foreign investment in Australia.

On 12 October 2023, the New South Wales Government introduced its landmark Climate Change Bill, to enshrine its emissions reduction targets in law in New South Wales and establish an independent Net Zero Commission. The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 commits New South Wales to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. The Net Zero Commission will monitor the state’s progress to net zero and report annually to ensure parliamentary transparency and accountability.

On 11 October 2023, the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth released its report on Australia’s transition to a green energy superpower, which examined how Australia can build on its strengths and opportunities to become a leading destination for trade and investment in the future global green economy. The 16 recommendations made by the committee focus on the role for the Australian Government to accelerate Australia’s opportunities and address challenges.

On the regulatory front…

National Electricity Market – 1 second FCAS market kicked off: The Very Fast Raise and Lower Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets commenced operating on 9 October 2023. These new markets, which join the existing, longer-interval (six second, 60 second, five minute) FCAS markets, will incentivise and compensate participants capable of providing very fast frequency response (e.g. batteries) to help control power system frequency.

Victoria-South Australia Capacity Investment Scheme initiated: On 30 August 2023, the Commonwealth Government announced a tender under the Capacity Investment Scheme targeting 600 MW of dispatchable capacity (with a four-hour equivalent duration) across Victoria and South Australia, to offset the loss of capacity from the scheduled closure of South Australia’s Torrens Island B power station in 2026 and Victoria’s Yallourn power station in 2028. Successful tenderers will be offered long-term revenue underwriting of their projects, providing additional investment certainty. The Victorian-South Australian tender follows a recent partnership between NSW and the Commonwealth to add a 550 MW CIS component to the New South Wales Energy Roadmap’s firming tender.

Australian Climate Service independent review: The Commonwealth Government has commissioned an independent review of the Australian Climate Service to ensure Australia has the systems and information required to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The review will provide advice on the performance, scope and resourcing needed to deliver on Australia’s future climate information needs.

Reliability Panel will apply emission reduction objective to its decision making: Following the introduction of an emission reduction objective into the National Electricity Objective, the AEMC and Reliability Panel will now apply an emissions reduction objective to their duties and deliberations on rule change processes. The emissions reduction component will be considered alongside existing National Electricity Objective criteria that guide the market bodies’ work, such as price, quality, safety, reliability and security.

Submissions to the AEMC’s Integrating Price Responsive Resources in the National Electricity Market Consultation Paper closed on 14 September 2023. AEMO has submitted a rule change request to the AEMC proposing a voluntary “scheduled lite” mechanism to allow non-scheduled price responsive consumer energy resources to participate in scheduling processes in the NEM.

On 20 September 2023, the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) released its Australia’s Guarantee of Origin (GO) Scheme Design Paper. Australia’s GO Scheme will underpin the development of clean energy markets and international trade in renewable energy and low emissions products, such as green hydrogen.

In the energy market and the broader economy

In its latest State of the energy market 2023 report, published in early-October 2023, the AER highlighted a range of vulnerabilities to the reliability of energy supply as coal generation exits the market. In particular, it highlighted the sensitivity of the market to outages among ageing plant, lack of coordination of consumer energy resources (e.g. rooftop PVs and household batteries) with the rest of the market, a shortfall in committed new energy projects (partly as a result of ongoing supply chain issues) and the risk of a disorderly withdrawal of coal.

In early October 2023, the Clean Energy Council released its Power Playbook, which contains 45 recommendations to the Federal Government, designed to ensure Australia gets back on track for 82 per cent renewables by 2030 and in a position to seize global opportunities in renewable energy. The submission sets out a structure for the creation of a formalised national masterplan.

The Central West Orana REZ (in New South Wales) has lodged an Environmental Impact Statement for a transmission project that will connect the REZ to the grid, making it the first REZ in Australia to reach this stage of development.

Ahead of COP28, the International Climate and Energy Summit in Madrid sought to build a broad coalition behind efforts to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5oC within reach. At the summit, which was co-hosted by the Government of Spain (which currently holds the EU Presidency) and the International Energy Agency, Ministers from close to 40 countries around the world called for the pace of energy efficiency improvements to be doubled, the ramping up of electrification and the reduction of methane emissions, and a tripling of renewable capacity, all by 2030.

Soaring demand for metals and minerals crucial for global emission reduction, combined with low commodity prices driving investors and mining firms to cut spending, are expected to lead to significant shortages of key elements needed for the energy transition, according to a new analysis from McKinsey.

In early-October 2023, The Australian Financial Review released a new intelligence report commissioned by Westpac which highlights that the pace at which Australia’s hydrogen industry is currently being developed risks impacting its competitive advantage. The report draws on experts including former chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel; Wood Mackenzie hydrogen expert, Flor Lucia de la Cruz; Australian Hydrogen Council CEO, Dr Fiona Simon; and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development industry program lead, Deger Saygin.

The ACCC issued a draft determination to deny authorisation for AEMO and electricity industry NEM participants to coordinate the scheduling of repairs, maintenance, renewals, upgrades and new connections and associated information sharing. This follows the ACCC authorising broader coordination arrangements in 2020, and then again in 2022, for AEMO and industry participants to respond to issues arising, firstly from the impact of COVID-19 and subsequently from the energy crisis.

From a social, customer and partner perspective…

During September 2023, Climate Action 100+, a worldwide coalition of 700 investors responsible for $US68 trillion ($107 trillion) in assets under management, released its assessments of Australian companies, revealing that many are falling behind in their climate ambitions. The annual benchmark of 14 of the country’s biggest ASX listed companies, found most companies’ actions remain well short of the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

During the month, Jobs and Skills Australia released a Commonwealth Government-commissioned analysis of opportunities, risks and required reforms associated with the transformation of Australia’s workforce to enable the energy transition. The report highlights a potential shortfall in trade qualified workers, emerging skills gaps in regional Australia and participation barriers for women, First Nations people and migrants. It also discusses the opportunity which it says exists for a fit for purpose tertiary skills, training and qualifications system, and proposes a worker-centred approach to support communities transitioning to low emissions economies.

KPMG published a study of sustainability maturity across companies in a range of countries, industries and revenue sizes. The study showed that just one in four companies are in advanced stages of preparation to obtain independent assurance on the sustainability information they report, despite 66 per cent of surveyed companies being required to disclose sustainability data either currently or in the near future. The study indicated that 56 per cent of companies are publicly reporting sustainability data, and while 93 per cent of these are providing some level of external assurance, only 14 per cent are obtaining reasonable assurance, and 16 per cent limited assurance. The survey acts as a timely reminder of the need to coordinate assurance services early, as there seems likely to be a shortfall in available resources as the deadlines for the implementation of new reporting requirements in Australia draw near.