Mar 18 2019

Divestment Bill An Unhelpful Distraction From Much-Needed Policy Reform

The Senate Economics’ Committee Inquiry into the Divestment Bill has concluded with a report which fails to dispel widespread concerns about both its overreach and the risk it poses to investment and energy prices, the energy industry said today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said that the Committee’s majority report failed to give proper weight to the majority of submissions, which were critical of the Bill, including by major business groups such as the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, and the Energy Users Association of Australia.

“More than 75 per cent of the submissions to the Inquiry raised serious concerns about the Bill, while only six submissions supported it, and none of those were able to identify how the Bill would lower prices for consumers,” Ms McNamara said.

“This should come as no surprise given the Government was similarly unable to show how the Bill would lower prices, and Treasury was not asked to undertake any economic modelling on the subject.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission did not find that there is misconduct in the market of the kind identified in the Bill, and specifically ruled out the need for a divestment power in the energy sector.  The Bill proposes measures which are best described as a solution looking for a problem.

“In an environment of upward pressure on energy prices, it is critical that the Government and industry focus on reforms that are going to deliver price relief and better transparency for Australian homes and businesses.  We remain perplexed that the Bill remains Government policy in circumstances where the weight of evidence before the Committee was that it would ultimately lead to poorer outcomes for consumers.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 23 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Related News


Collaboration Key to Transition

The peak body for electricity generators and retailers, the Australian Energy Council (AEC), has welcomed the introduction of the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill into the House of Representatives, to help support the fair transition to a net zero emissions economy.

Mar 27 2024

AEMO Plan Identifies Dispatchable Plant Deficit

The latest assessment of our energy system points to the urgency of getting sufficient firming capacity in place to back up the transformational injection of renewables into our grid, according to the peak body for energy retailers and generators, the Australian Energy Council.

Dec 15 2023

Australian Energy Council Congratulates Reece Whitby and Acknowledges Bill Johnston

The peak body for energy retailers and generators, the Australian Energy Council, congratulates the Hon Reece Whitby MLA on his appointment as Energy Minister and acknowledges the work of the Hon Bill Johnston MLA during his stewardship of the portfolio.

Dec 08 2023
Do you have a question or comment for AEC?

Send an email with your question or comment, and include your name and a short message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Call Us
+61 (3) 9205 3100