PIAA supports ideology-free energy

The Printing Industries Association of Australia has come out in support of Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s calls for bipartisanship on energy policy, saying policy must encourage a market-based solution.


Frydenberg has called for a recognition of the realities of today’s energy market, for Labor and the Greens to recognise that coal and fossil fuels have a role to play, and for ideologues in the Liberal/National party to accept that Australia and the world is moving towards a carbon-constrained future.


The PIAA says it welcomes Energy Minister Frydenberg’s comments acknowledging the overwhelming desire of business for a common-sense approach to policy on energy production and supply.


Energy prices have been the industry body’s main bone to pick with government, with CEO Andrew Macaulay spending significant amounts of time in Canberra speaking to politicians on how the rising costs are pushing printers to the breaking point. He had also asked the question of what Government will do to alleviate the pressure on printers from the ABC Q&A studio audience, to both Frydenberg, and his opposition minister, Labor’s Chris Bowen.


Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA, says, “Business needs confidence to invest, and business needs the cost of power to come down while ensuring the reliability of the grid. Policy must encourage a market-based solution that minimises the drain on the taxpayer through subsidies.


“We look forward to bi-partisan support; and for the federal, state and territory governments to put aside ideology; in the interests of keeping business viable and jobs in Australia.”


For Frydenberg, the speed in which renewable technologies have progressed has factored into the decision. He says, “Renewables have developed faster and further than originally thought, but these technologies, pulled through with substantial taxpayer support, can now stand on their own.


“The government should be providing no new subsidies, be they to renewables or coal. Let them battle it out in a ­properly ­regulated, technology-­neutral market.


“This is the National Energy Guarantee which, in the words of the independent Energy Security Board, represents “a clear investment signal so the cleanest, cheapest and most reliable generation gets built”.


“It places an obligation on retailers to provide sufficient dispatch­able power to ensure reliability — this is power available on demand regardless of the weather — while also requiring retailers to reduce the emissions intensity of their portfolio across time.


“These requirements are fundamental to restoring faith in the ­National Electricity Market by driving long-term investment in the right technologies at the right place at the right time, the outcome of which is a 23 per cent reduction in the wholesale price of electricity and a $300 annual saving for households compared with what is on offer from Labor.


“The NEG is not a new tax, subsidy or emissions trading scheme. It does not collect revenue for government. It is technology-neutral and does not pick winners.


“It is based on engineering and economics, not ideology.


“To make the NEG a reality, states and territories of both political persuasions will need to join together with the commonwealth and agree.


“It will require governments to put ideology aside and work together in the national interest. It is our best chance to secure a lasting consensus.


“We must not miss this opportunity to deliver a more affordable, more reliable and lower-emission energy system for Australia.”

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