THE Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today welcomed the release of the Queensland Government's 30 year Electricity Strategy discussion paper.
CCIQ general manager Advocacy Nick Behrens said the discussion paper, tabled in Parliament today by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle MP, was the first step towards the development of a long-term energy strategy for Queensland.
"It is critical for the business community that we have a future-focused energy sector and CCIQ has been actively involved in facilitating discussion and understanding of energy issues in Queensland," Mr Behrens said.
"We believe that the Queensland electricity supply industry must be supportive of continued business and economic growth in Queensland.
"Electricity prices have doubled on average for business over the past seven years, which has created an enormous hurdle for businesses trying to remain competitive.
"Encouraging a more sustainable and competitive energy sector in Queensland will provide a platform for businesses to continue growing over the next 30 years."
The discussion paper represents the second stage of the state-wide consultation process and aims to engage Queenslanders on specific proposals and seek their feedback on potential reforms.
"CCIQ believes it is important to have a robust policy and regulatory framework that will remain effective over the long term," he said.
"This is critical in achieving an electricity supply system that is resilient, cost effective and customer focussed to support small and medium business."
CCIQ has previously requested that the following concerns be addressed in the directions paper for the 30-year electricity strategy:
- What is more important price competitiveness and sustainability or network reliability?
- What can be done to promote further competition in SEQ and facilitate competition in regional Queensland?
- What can be done to improve the performance and efficiency of an underperforming Queensland Electricity Supply Industry?
- What can be done to diversify the generation mix of energy and also the location of energy? Is nuclear energy a realistic option for Queensland?
- Do we privatise our state's electricity assets?
"Some of these issues have been acknowledged in the paper such as competition, performance and diversification of energy," Mr Behrens said.
"CCIQ will now consult with its members to produce a submission in response to the proposals in the discussions paper and welcomes the ongoing involvement from the business community."