Prime Minister’s comments welcomed on an Australian response to the US Inflation Reduction Act

17 February 2024

The Business Council of Australia welcomes the Government’s intent to compete harder for global renewables investment, in the context of escalating global competition and funds being pulled away from Australia by the United States Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

BCA Chief Executive Bran Black said the Prime Minister’s comments, made last night in Newcastle, foreshadowing an Australian response to the United States’ $624 billion IRA were welcomed, given the IRA is already having a major impact on local investment.

“We will never be able to match the kind of spending power the US has for subsidies and other incentives, so we have to pull investment in the climate transition into Australia through smarter, targeted policymaking”, Mr Black said.

“It’s good to see these signals from the Government, foreshadowing the approach we’ve advocated for, because we can’t match US spend but if we simply do nothing we’ll keep losing investment. And this is now the case, with Australia a net exporter of capital since 2019-20.”

Mr Black said the Government and businesses needed to work together to design the right settings for an Australian response with the aim to get the long-term investment right, rather than delivering just a short-term sugar hit.

“Since we can’t engage in a direct subsidy war, some of the ideas we’re proposing include coordinating our policy response to the decarbonisation challenge through the Net Zero Authority, implementing targeted investment incentives, addressing acute skilled worker shortages in industries required for the net zero transition and cutting regulatory red tape.”


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