The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism is currently seeking submissions to the draft Energy White Paper and is hosting information sessions in every state and territory in February and March 2012 (see dates below).

The draft Energy White Paper sets out a series of proposed Commonwealth Government priorities to address challenges confronting Australia’s energy sector and identifies four priority areas for further action:

  • Strengthening the resilience of Australia’s energy-policy framework;
  • Re-invigorating the energy market reform agenda;
  • Developing Australia’s critical energy resources – particularly gas; and
  • Accelerating clean energy outcomes

Over the next two decades, Australia will require massive investment in the gas and electricity sectors – around $240 billion in generation, transmission and distribution.

According to Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP  improving the resilience of energy policy is critical.

“In terms of consumers, the Government recognises that the community has experienced a period of rising energy prices. The White Paper recognises the need for greater consumer engagement to improve community understanding of investment and price drivers, which can lead to greater empowerment in terms of making informed decisions around managing energy use and associated costs.

"The Government proposes that a strategic review of national energy policy be undertaken every four years, supported by a review every two years of national energy security. This will allow us to assess, and respond as required to emerging strategic market or policy developments in a timely and predictable way.

“The White Paper also focuses on the next round of energy market reform, including further privatisation of energy assets and the removal of retail price regulation to increase efficiencies and remove distortions in markets that deter private sector investment and are harmful to consumers’ interests. Written submissions are due by 16 March 2012.

Consultation dates:

Darwin - 8 February                                                                   Melbourne  - 29 February

Adelaide -  13 February                                                            Latrobe Valley - 1 March

Perth  - 14 February                                                                   Hobart - 2 March

Canberra - 17 February                                                            Sydney - 6 March

Brisbane - 20 February                                                             Newcastle - 7 March

Gladstone - 21 February

For more information on the sessions, please go to www.industry.gov.au.  To register your interest in the sessions email the Energy White Paper Secretariat at Secretariat.EWP [at] industry.gov.au

The draft Energy White Paper and associated material is available at http://ewp.industry.gov.au/

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