Statement on the Government’s Carbon Policy Announcement

“The government may have promised to lower the carbon price to the international level in July 2014, but more work needs to be done to address the high cost Australia is paying now to reduce its emissions,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Lowering the carbon price is an urgent priority but the fact remains, as a result of government policy, businesses are still likely to be paying one of the highest carbon prices in the world for up to another year and their competitiveness is suffering every day as a result,” Ms Westacott said.

“Moving to the emissions trading scheme as currently designed – a flawed design with many risks for the economy is not a solution to dealing with industry competitiveness issues or to ensure lowest cost emissions reduction.

“The Business Council maintains the view that the planned emissions trading scheme does not include the critical safeguards necessary to maintain industry competitiveness, or to ensure Australia’s action remains in line with the rest of the world.

“Rushing to a flawed emissions trading scheme in isolation from a proper debate about national energy policy will not be effective in Australia contributing to reducing global carbon emissions while maintaining our economic growth and competitiveness.

“Lowering the carbon price needs to be the catalyst to rethink our approach to achieving a competitive, low emissions economy as part of a comprehensive national energy policy that ensures reliable and competitively priced energy for households and businesses.

“Given the move to a lower carbon price will not occur until 1 July next year we should ask the Productivity Commission to advise on the most effective approach to achieve a competitive, low emissions economy.

“A Productivity Commission review would enable an independent assessment of emissions reduction policies, including whether an emissions trading scheme is the best approach in the absence of progress on international negotiations to date,” she said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128