At least one new gas basin will need to be opened up before 2030 under a Morrison government strategy to avoid supply shortages and energy price hikes.
The plan has been lashed by one climate expert, who said it ignored the reality that gas was a high polluting fossil fuel which the world was moving away from.
In the next phase of its contentious "gas-fired" economic recovery plan, the federal government has published a blueprint for the staged development of Australia's east coast gas market over the next 20 years.
The report warned that gas supplies were likely to fall short of domestic or export demand by the end of the decade unless new sources were unlocked and key infrastructure - such as pipelines - built to support them.
Gas projects in Narrabri in NSW, the Beetaloo sub-basin in the Northern Territory and Queensland's Galilee and North Bowen basins could all be online before 2030.
The plan says the government will step in to help back priority projects if their private proponents aren't able to deliver them on time.
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the 20-year blueprint would guide investment in new projects to help avoid a supply shortfall, which would in turn keep prices competitive.
"The United Kingdom and Europe have experienced price increases over 400 percent in recent months due to gas shortages," Mr Taylor said in a statement on Friday.
"The government cannot sit back and allow that to happen here.
"Australian prices have remained 60 to 70 per cent lower than prices in Asia and Europe even in light of this major energy shock.
"Unlocking basins and getting gas to where it is needed will support our job-creating industries."
The Morrison government has defied the advice of climate scientists to back the gas and coal sectors, believing technological advancements and the use of carbon offsets will allow the country's fossil fuel industries to survive amid the transition to a net zero emission economy.
Climate Council senior researcher Tim Baxter said the government's latest gas plan was based on a "world that we don't live in".
"It is based on a world where the clock isn't ticking on emissions reduction, it's based on a world where gas isn't a fossil fuel," he said.
"We live in a world of different energy economics today. Wind and solar, both in Australia and in virtually everywhere around the world, is the cheapest form of new generation.
"There is nobody who is looking at gas when they are thinking about how to reduce emissions."
Greens leader Adam Bandt this week said it would be a "climate crime" to open up new coal and gas projects, particularly in the wake of warnings from the COP26 summit in Glasgow that time was running out to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Mr Bandt on Friday said the government's plan for "massive gas expansion" would lock in "devastating global heating" and "it means climate catastrophe within our lifetimes".
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