THE Coalition Government has commenced action toward a new energy and resources policy framework, releasing the terms of reference for an Energy White Paper to increase competitiveness and economic growth.

In a statement released recently, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said the Energy White Paper will lay the groundwork for a stable energy policy designed to attract foreign investment.

“The Government understands the need to create the right environment to attract investment,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Australia has the potential to be an energy and resources superpower, particularly in terms of LNG exports.

“We have considerable energy resources but it is important to assure investors that Australia is ‘open for business’ and to have clear and predictable policy settings.”

The Paper will also identify measures focusing on improving energy affordability and securing energy supplies to meet long-term needs for both business and the community.

“Stable energy policy is essential given its close connection to issues that affect every home and business, including electricity prices,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Reforming regulation, improving workforce skills and encouraging innovation will help drive the efficiencies and productivity to put downward pressure on domestic costs and grow energy exports.”

In particular, the White Paper will consider:

  • policy and regulatory reform to secure reliable, competitively and transparently priced energy for a growing population and productive economy, including the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory bodies;
  • the appropriate role for government in the energy sector;
  • opportunities to drive the more productive and efficient use of energy;
  • energy related distribution infrastructure to deliver efficient national markets;
  • alternative transport fuel sources;
  • workforce issues, including national skills development needs;
  • emerging energy technologies and new energy sources; and
  • future growth in exports of energy products, including our world leading services industries.

The Energy White Paper is expected to be completed in September 2014. For more information, click here.