Media & Speeches

COAG Energy Council Must End Policy Paralysis

The chief executive of the Business Council of Australia Jennifer Westacott is urging Australia’s political leaders to work together at Friday’s COAG Energy Council meeting to end the deadlock on climate and energy policy.

“I hope State and Territory ministers will work constructively towards an implementation plan rather than play politics,” Ms Westacott said. 

“Australia needs momentum and decisive action to see the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) implemented. 

“Denying Australians the opportunity for reliable, affordable energy in the name of political expediency would be simply unacceptable.”

“Industry stands ready to work in co-operation and good-faith with government to develop an implementation plan for the NEG.

“Businesses and the community have been clear – we need action to drive down prices and ensure the reliability of our energy system, the NEG can deliver that.

“By relying on existing market structures and placing responsibility for meeting targets with retailers the NEG is our best chance to drive the investment we need in the energy sector, while also meeting our emissions targets.

“We recognise there are issues to be resolved – that would be the case for any energy plan – so it’s important we work together constructively to reach agreement, rather than let those issues stand as a barrier to progress.

“Encouraging investment in energy generation is the best way to reduce electricity prices.

“Delivering a stable, effective energy policy will help drive the business investment in large scale dispatchable electricity generation that consumers need to see prices fall.

“There is a considerable amount of detail to work through to ensure this plan is successful, as there would be in any energy plan. It is therefore critical for customers and suppliers to be involved in its development.”

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