The Finkel Review offers a chance to reset Australia’s approach to power supply and allow all sides of the debate to reach consensus on achieving cheaper and more secure electricity while lowering greenhouse emissions, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today.
The Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, prepared by Dr Alan Finkel, is today being presented to the Council of Australian Governments.
Adam Carr, Director of Economics and Industry Policy at the Australian Chamber, said: “The business community welcomes the Finkel Review, which allows political leaders to press the reset button on our approach to power supply. Years of policy inconsistency – between governments and oppositions at federal and state level – has left business and households paying more for a less reliable power supply.
“To drive down prices for energy, businesses need to have confidence in their investments. That can only be achieved by stable greenhouse emission policies.
“The Finkel Review was tasked with providing a once-in-a-generation blueprint for Australia’s energy security and affordability while reducing emissions, and so it is important the options it canvasses remain on the table for full and frank analysis.
“All sides of the discussion need to take a mature approach and prioritise practical solutions. We must not forget the impact on businesses and households of the electricity crises in South Australia last year that led to the Review. We must not waste the opportunity now the report is in.“Right now businesses and households face insecure networks, rising prices and no certainty on how Australia will reduce emissions to meet our Paris Agreement obligations. This must change, and the Finkel Review reportedly offers a way forward.
“We are encouraged by recent comments suggesting an emerging political consensus. The proposal for a Low Emissions Target deserves serious consideration if it can deliver low-cost abatement in a technology-neutral way, attract federal bipartisan support and win the backing of COAG.
“Business and policy makers need to quickly understand how a LET will impact the cost of power, whether it will achieve a more secure and lower emissions electricity network and how it will interact with other climate and energy policies.
“We will work with our members to provide a considered response once the full report is released.”