COAG: Urgent agreement needed on NEG

10 Aug 2018 |

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the decision to release a draft of legislation for the National Energy Guarantee next week and keep momentum going following the COAG Energy Council meeting today, but at the same time warns state and territory governments that a deal on the NEG is needed urgently.

“Business patience is wearing thin. Households and business can’t put off paying their power bills, politicians need to stop putting off a decision to put an end to Australia’s energy crisis,” Australian Chamber CEO James Pearson said today.

“Debate over emission reductions should not overshadow the fact that high costs remain the key issue for business and households.

“We need the National Energy Guarantee, plus key recommendations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to drive down energy costs, to reduce emissions and deliver lower power prices.

“Right around the country businesses are telling us high energy costs are hitting hard,” Mr Pearson said.

“If we can’t get costs down, businesses, in particular, small businesses who can’t pass on cost increases to their customers will have no choice but to find savings elsewhere.

“Some will cut hours, some will lay off staff and some will close their doors. And bigger firms will relocate to other countries where energy doesn’t cost an arm and leg, and employ people there instead of in Australia.”

“Lower emissions and lower power prices are not incompatible.

“The federal government has put on the table a flexible framework and it is this very flexibility which affords all sides – state and federal – the capacity to compromise and endorse the National Energy Guarantee now.

“To prevent job losses and business closures we urge the governments which are holding out, to stop holding up national agreement and endorse the National Energy Guarantee now.”

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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