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Panel to review governance of Australian energy markets

25 February 2015

The Australian Government is continuing to drive reforms in the energy sector with a focus on ensuring the energy framework and institutions are relevant to both households and businesses.

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said an expert panel will review national energy market governance arrangements to make sure they reflect the changing market.

“The way Australians use energy continues to evolve, and it’s no longer a case of one-size-fits all,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Australia has diverse and extensive energy assets. Our energy wealth and our reliable, efficient and competitive energy system are among our chief competitive advantages because they drive our local economy.

“It’s important that we make full use of our energy assets, so that Australian consumers reap the benefits and to cement our growing role as a global energy superpower.

“In recent years there have been significant changes to the national energy market, including as a result of advances in technology such as computerised electricity trading, a growing renewable sector and a quickly expanding gas market.

“While the market has proved itself highly resilient, the importance of good governance remains even more critical in a world of higher energy prices, of changing ownership structures and of new technologies like photovoltaic solar systems, electric vehicles and smart meters.

“Dr Michael Vertigan AC will chair the panel, and will be joined by members Mr Euan Morton and Professor George Yarrow.

“The panel will complete the review according to the Terms of Reference agreed to by the COAG Energy Council.

“An Issues Paper, to be released in April, will be followed by a broad public consultation process. A draft report will then be released in July for further consultation. The final report is due to be submitted to the COAG Energy Council in September 2015.”

More information on the review including the Terms of Reference is available on the COAG Energy Council website at http://www.scer.gov.au/.

Australia’s record of reform includes:

  • The formation of the COAG Energy Council which has policy oversight for energy markets;
  • the establishment of the Australian Energy Market Commission as an independent statutory rule maker and market development body to which anyone can propose rule changes to meet new circumstances
  • the establishment of the Australian Energy Regulator to provide consistent national regulation for energy networks, and
  • the establishment of the Australian Energy Market Operator to maintain the stable operation of wholesale markets and transmission systems.

Media Contact: Minister Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070