The Australian Industry Group, which represents some of the country’s biggest energy consumers, has warned that Labor faces ‘apocalyptic’ energy price hikes which ‘threaten chaos for industry and pain for households”.
Ai Group called on the new Labor government, state governments and energy suppliers to work together to support businesses struggling with rising prices for wholesale gas and other energy sources.
“All of Australia’s old energy forces – our reliance on former coal-generating capacity, significant gas resources and deep entanglement with export energy markets – are working against us under the current circumstances,” Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said on Tuesday.
“But all of our new energy options – from renewables and storage to biogas, hydrogen and energy efficiency – are difficult to accelerate amid global supply chain issues, skills constraints and the unease of communities around energy megaprojects.”
Willox said the task of helping businesses as the nation transitions to more renewable energy sources cannot be left to the federal government.
“The most sensible steps, on both the supply and demand side, to build for the future and reduce our exposure to fuel costs will take time,” Willox said.
“Short-term responses to help vulnerable industries and households will also be needed. They must be rapid, targeted and have a clear transfer as the benefits of longer-term measures materialize.
“The new Albanian government has an unenviable but urgent task to respond to this crisis. It is not one that they can or should assume alone.
“States have many relevant levers, as do energy market authorities, energy suppliers and energy users. The first task of the Commonwealth is to bring us all together. Any strategy will require broad participation to work.