Ministerial powers to make Rules from Energy Security Board recommendation

PIAC responded to the draft Statutes Amendment (National Energy Laws) (Rules) Bill 2017 which proposes to provide powers to make changes to the National Electricity Rules if recommended by the Energy Security Board (ESB) and unanimously supported by the COAG Energy Ministers. PIAC supports many of the individual recommendations made in the Finkel Review, and welcomes the agreement to implement them as a package of reforms under the guidance of the ESB. We note that many elements of the Finkel Review’s recommendations remain open to interpretation, and that many decisions are still to be made regarding their ultimate design and implementation. Notwithstanding that some of the costs of these decisions are likely to be recovered through other means, by and large consumers will pay for the outcomes of these decisions. Consumers should be effectively represented in the decision process, yet there is no direct consumer representation on the ESB. PIAC recommends open and accessible public consultation on all matters and prospective rule changes considered by the ESB.

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