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Stakeholders unite ahead of Finkel Report

With the Finkel Report slated for release late Friday afternoon, the airwaves are awash with opinion on energy policy.

Amid the noise however, you may have missed the consensus – with a broad coalition of advocacy groups and businesses calling for two things: certainty, and action.

BlueScope Steel chief executive Paul O’Malley has publicly backed a proposal for a ‘low emissions target’ (LET).

Speaking with The Australian, Mr O’Malley has said the key is not to pick winners.

“[The LET] should include all possible technologies. We believe in climate change and the need to reduce global emissions. At the same time, we need to ensure we have reliable and affordable power,” Mr O’Malley said.

The proposal also enjoys support from BHP’s Australian mining head, Mike Henry.

Earlier this week, National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson, penned an opinion piece for the Financial Review. She spelled out what would constitute a winning trifecta for the energy policy: security; affordability; and sustainability.

The statement aims to inject some mettle into the Government
AustralianFarmers

And yesterday, a chorus of industry bodies and interest groups – ranging from trade unions, to aluminum smelters, from fertiliser companies to charities, and from farmers to environment groups – has come together to release a joint statement laying out their expectations.

The statement aims to inject some mettle into the Government – and the opposition’s response to the Finkel Review, by reminding politicians of the economic and environmental consequences if we don’t act decisively.

A full copy of the statement is copied below.

Joint statement ahead of the Finkel Review

Our organisations believe that the worst outcome for energy consumers and suppliers alike would be the absence of any credible and enduring energy and climate policy in Australia.  Without reform we will endure higher prices, reduced security, lost investment opportunity, and stubbornly high emissions.

Energy markets are at a crossroads as all stakeholders deal with the significant changes that have been sweeping across the electricity and gas sectors for the last decade.  

The Finkel Review presents a major opportunity to implement a coherent national blueprint to modernise our electricity system and meet our emissions reduction goals.  The Report and its recommendations deserve to be considered as a whole in consultation with industry, customers and other stakeholders.

The consequences of failure are too significant to allow this opportunity to pass.  The Australian political system must act to deliver clear and enduring energy and climate policy.

The Finkel Review expert panel has consulted widely and considered deeply, and their report is worthy of careful consideration.  Once we have fully digested the Review, our organisations may have differing views on the detail of the recommendations and how these might best be implemented.  But given what is at stake for energy users and suppliers, now is not the time for rash decisions or knee jerk reactions.  We need careful review and considered decision-making that leads to the return of a stable investment environment, affordable prices and reliable supply, even as we reduce emissions.  

We stand ready to support new reforms to achieve these outcomes.

The statement above was distributed jointly by the groups shown here.

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