Petroleum production and exploration company Woodside spoke out against the Australian government’s proposed natural gas tax reforms on Wednesday.

The government is currently considering changes to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) which it believes is not delivering enough revenue. The Australian government currently has a A$50bn ($33.5bn) budget deficit which it hopes to solve by changing existing tax breaks.

Woodside executives have cautioned the government against “overreaching”, claiming that higher taxation could reduce the investment needed for increased supply. Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said: “Our message to the government is what is important for us is [to] hold the course. Stay with the framework we have”.

A report by Australian think tank Grattan Institute found that Australia was on track for a structural gap between revenue and spending of approximately 2% of GDP every year by 2030.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has called for reform of the PRRT, which would eliminate A$284bn ($190bn) of accumulated credits that allow gas companies to reduce their tax liability. Chalmers says that the government is yet to define its position on PRRT.

The Australian annual spending budget is due to be delivered to parliament on 9 May.

O’Neill said that Australia needs “fiscal and regulatory certainty, not arbitrary market interventions”. Australian gas industry figures have warned that the changes may lead to shortages in the country.

Leader of opposition party The Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, said: “Australia’s gas tax is broken and many multinational corporations pay no gas tax at all. […] It’s time to make big gas corporations pay their fair share of tax”.

Chalmers has pledged to find “the best combination of trimming spending and redirecting it to areas which are more important to us, some sensible tax changes, whether it’s multinationals or superannuation, and spending restraint so that we can make our budget as resilient as it can be”.