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COAG progress on ending energy uncertainty

"Today the COAG Energy Council has listened to the clear message from industry and the community and agreed to continue working towards settling on an approach to long-term climate and energy policy. A policy settlement will help unlock investment in electricity supply and demand side resources, putting downward pressure on electricity prices that remain intolerably high for industry and households alike," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"The draft design directions released after the meeting provide reassurance that the National Energy Guarantee can be designed efficiently and avoid the risks to competition that have concerned Ai Group and our members. We thank all governments and the Energy Security Board for their consultation thus far.

"However, months of hard work and detailed design are now required to have a fleshed out scheme for adoption in August. Among the outstanding issues to be resolved, it will be particularly important to forge compromise between the Commonwealth and the States, and both sides of Federal politics, over emissions reduction ambition.

"It is clear that the scope of ambition will continue to evolve, and that all sides are committed to their approaches. The challenge will be to find ways to accommodate these clear differences without perpetuating the current deep uncertainty or preventing the badly needed fall in energy costs.

"Ai Group will be working with all sides and all stakeholders to achieve an outcome that works – and sticks – to maintain Australia's industrial competitiveness," Mr Willox said.

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