18 August 2022
A comprehensive consultation process on the Safeguard Mechanism will be critical to achieving our targets and locking in a stronger economy, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“It’s time to move beyond the debate about targets and get on with the ‘how’, so we welcome the government’s consultative approach.
“If we get this right, an enhanced Safeguard Mechanism will help send clear signals to the market, drive investment and deliver more opportunities and stronger regions, while still protecting jobs from carbon leakage.
“This is significant reform which will impact Australia’s economy for decades to come, so we have to get the details right.
“By using the existing policy building blocks and adopting much of the Business Council’s proposed policy architecture, we can get to work on the details and get on with achieving an ambitious interim goal.
“Targets aren’t enough on their own, so it is great to see the government setting out a plan to get there by working with the biggest industrial producers with a focus on more jobs, more opportunities and stronger regions.
“Over the next month we will work with our members and the government to get the detail right; make sure our powerhouse trade exposed sectors aren’t left uncompetitive and that Australia is seizing the early mover advantage on new industries and new opportunities.
“It is crucial to keep in mind that Australia has a net zero target, and that means some facilities will need to continue producing emissions as technology evolves. That means we will need a carefully considered approach to international offsets and to continue working to make sure our domestic offsets market is credible and fit for purpose.”