Energy industry welcomes Labor commitment to bipartisan policy

The Australian energy industry welcomes Labor’s commitment to the National Energy Guarantee and its announcement today which correctly identifies stable policy as the key to greater investment and lower prices for Australian households and businesses.

Australian Energy Council chief executive Sarah McNamara said Labor’s ongoing support for bipartisan energy policy provides another opportunity for the Government to end more than a decade of policy and investment uncertainty.

“Labor’s announcement today is a positive sign that it has heard the concerns of the Australian energy industry which wants stable carbon policy in order to deliver lower prices,” Ms McNamara said.

If the bipartisan policy proves difficult to achieve however, the industry cautions against direct government support to favoured renewable energy projects. Ms McNamara said governments have a poor track record in doing this efficiently, and it tends to increase rather than reduce risks for other would-be investors.

“The energy industry recognises that Labor is committed to a stronger carbon target, and welcomes the clarity Labor has provided regarding the role we would play to meet it if it wins government.

“The proposal for a major review into energy efficiency policy is also welcome. The Australian Energy Council considers there remains opportunities in this area, and there is room to improve and harmonise existing state mechanisms.

“We look forward to seeing more details on Labor’s modernisation and funding proposals. However we also caution that expanding networks is only one of many options available in the process of industry transition. Each network investment needs to be properly tested for its costs and benefits before going ahead to ensure it represents good value, but also to ensure it does not undermine generation investments.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 22 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.

Media contact:
Nick Leys 0413 621 484