Australian Food & Grocery Council

ENERGY POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes the Government’s new energy policy, which includes a National Energy Guarantee, designed to deliver reliable and affordable energy to consumers whilst delivering emissions reductions.

AFGC CEO Ms Tanya Barden said that Australia’s $127 billion food and grocery sector’s international competitiveness is being hampered by high energy costs that are likely to have dire consequence for Australian jobs and investment.

“The National Energy Guarantee’s focus on delivering affordable and reliable power is a fundamental step forward in providing long term policy certainty for Australia’s largest manufacturing sector,” said Ms Barden.

“The Government’s ongoing commitment to emissions reduction is clearly critical to meeting our international obligations, whilst providing industry policy certainty to ensure secure, affordable supply that does not inhibit the sustainability of the food and grocery manufacturing sector.”

“We remain concerned about the short to medium term outlook for electricity prices, as it is unclear how long it will take for the Government’s announcements to affect the electricity price,” said Ms Barden.

“Many food and grocery manufacturers are due to renew their electricity contracts and are concerned about their viability in the next couple of years. We also remain concerned about the gas market with food and grocery manufacturers being quoted prices that are still above where they should be given recent supply commitments by the gas producers.”

“Food and grocery companies will only invest in Australia if they can see a stable policy framework for driving reliable and cost effective power supplies. To achieve this there is a need for ongoing reforms that will address other shortfalls in the energy market, including improving energy retail competition, transactional behaviour and gas availability and pricing.”

“The AFGC continues to support the ACCC’s inquiries into Australia’s operation of the electricity and gas markets with view to examining mechanisms to address a lack of competition, such as through amended rules and a Code of Conduct to provide more contractual flexibility.”

“The AFGC also calls on the State Governments to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth in order to deliver long term reform of the energy market, and necessary policy certainty for industry to continue drive jobs and investment growth,” said Ms Barden
 
 

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AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002