Media Contact
Carl Kitchen, 0401 691 342
Sep 18 2019

Divestment bill will not lower prices for consumers

The Government’s Divestment Bill will not lower energy prices for customers, is unnecessary and will discourage investment and risk increasing market volatility, the energy industry said.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive Sarah McNamara expressed disappointment in the Government’s decision to proceed with the “Big Stick” divestment legislation in its current form.

“The energy industry encourages the Government to amend the Bill to avoid unintended negative consequences for consumers,” Ms McNamara said.

“The Bill will not lower the cost of electricity, and this was confirmed by both the Treasury and the ACCC at its Senate Committee hearing.  It may result in more frequent price changes, leaving consumers confused and frustrated.   

“The Bill provides the Government with unprecedented powers to force a business to sell an asset.  This represents a significant shift in Australia’s legal framework with economy-wide implications.

“Regrettably, the Bill also provides the Treasurer with an extraordinary power to compel energy companies to contract, and will be able to specify the contract terms, conditions and prices a corporation must offer for up to three years. This creates serious sovereign risk issues for future investment in Australia’s energy market.

“This Bill greatly increases risks and uncertainty for energy market participants.

“The AEC encourages the Government to reconsider its approach and consult further with industry, state governments and the wider community on amendments to mitigate against its negative impacts.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 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


Australian Energy Council congratulates Daniel Westerman

The Australian Energy Council congratulates Daniel Westerman on his appointment as CEO and Managing Director of the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Feb 10 2021

New data shows solar shines despite lockdowns

Rooftop solar installation grew by 18 per cent nationally over the last year, according to the Australian Energy Council's latest Solar Report, which showed record growth in solar PV capacity and installations during 2020.

Feb 04 2021

Australian Energy Council congratulates Chris Bowen and thanks Mark Butler

The Australian Energy Council congratulates the Hon Chris Bowen MP on his appointment as Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy and thanks the Hon Mark Butler MP for his extensive work in the portfolio.

Jan 29 2021
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