Energy policy central to vote: PIAA

The Printing Industries Association of Australia contends that energy policy was central to today’s Coalition vote on party leader, and says that it is relieved the Prime Minister is taking the issue seriously.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull kept his job following the vote, winning the vote 48 – 35 in the party room, with contender Peter Dutton then resigning from his position as Home Affairs Minister and the frontbench.


The Government’s proposed energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee, collapsed earlier this month, and with it, most print industry hopes for a quick resolution to the growing problem of electricity prices.


Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA, says, “We are apolitical, we do not have a position on preferred PM.


“Energy policy is central to what has happened this morning.


“PIAA has consistently taken its view to the energy minister and prime minister that a crucial element has to be a reduction in price, with stability in supply.


“Clearly, other industry associations and other bodies agree with this, we are not seeing any reduction in energy price, and politicians are under enormous amounts of pressure, on both sides of politics.


“Both Liberal and Labor politicians are under enormous pressure to fix this problem of their own making.


“I have meetings in Canberra tomorrow, as part of our ongoing discussion with Federal Government on issues that affect the print sector. On top of that list is energy, next is Australia Post, the ongoing rise in prices and diminution of service. We will be arguing strongly for those tomorrow, regardless of who is PM or which party is in Government.


“It was Printing Industries who led this charge on energy costs, and it is recognised in Canberra. We have members in every Federal electorate in the country. Earlier this year we wrote a letter to Federal Parliament about energy prices, which had put considerable pressure on the Government about this very issue.”


Prior to the collapse in the NEG, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull floated the idea of direct market intervention to bring down power prices, forcing energy companies to sell their power for cheaper, while also considering removing emissions reductions targets.


Macaulay says, “I think it is a relief that the prime minister is taking the issue seriously, and understanding that there are real outcomes to industry, employment, and economic prosperity from politicians playing ideological games with key infrastructure.


“The PIAA position is that we are an energy-rich country, we export energy to the world, and it is political folly from both sides of politics that we have some of the most expensive energy in the world. All sides of politics need to focus on the fact that there policies are running the risk of de-industrialising the country. We need to start focusing on policies that benefit prosperity and employment in Australia, and productivity in Australia.


“Our focus is always on reducing energy costs, and improving reliability, we are not interested in ideological debate, our members employ people, they manufacture, they produce, and they need Government to get out of the way and back industry.”

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