Australian businesses want a long-term energy plan to focus on lowering prices, reliability and reducing emissions.
CEO of Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry James Pearson says businesses need investment security for decades, which can’t be achieved with the government at loggerheads over its policy.
He’s calling for a bipartisan approach to “help give businesses confidence that they so desperately need.”
“If you’re building a large power station you’re going to be looking for a return that’s going to be measured in decades, not just in three years or six years,” he told AAP on Wednesday.
The ACCI supports the federal government’s now-dumped National Energy Guarantee for providing a long-term framework.
Labor is considering to adopt the NEG, with leader Bill Shorten arguing a lack of policy is affecting prices and investment in renewable energy.
“How can you invest in new generation if you don’t know what the rules are?” Mr Shorten told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has this week confirmed the Renewable Energy Target will not be replaced when it expires in 2020.
Greens MP Adam Bandt said the minister was “even worse than Tony Abbott”, who he said pretended to care about green energy but did nothing.
Mr Bandt wants next month’s Wentworth by-election in Malcolm Turnbull’s former seat to be a referendum on renewable energy and climate change, and is calling on Labor and crossbenchers to back a Greens-led push to extend the renewable energy target.
“So that while the next parliament works out what it’s going to do on climate change renewable energy doesn’t fall into a valley of death,” Mr Bandt said.
Meanwhile, new polling shows most people in the energy minister’s own electorate think carbon emission reduction targets should be increased.
The ReachTEL poll of Mr Taylor’s NSW seat of Hume shows 42 per cent of respondents believe the 26 to 28 per cent target is not enough.
Nearly 30 per cent think it should stay the same and 22 per cent want it reduced, while the remainder are unsure.
The poll commissioned by the left-leaning Australia Institute polled 690 respondents last Monday also found 63 per cent of respondents support a moratorium on building new coal mines, with 26 per cent opposed.