Submission to the Senate Committee – Net Zero Economy Authority Bill(s) 2024

24 April 2024

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) welcomes the introduction of the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill(s) to Parliament by the Australian Government on 27 March 2024. The BCA represents 130 of Australia’s leading businesses and strives to deliver a stronger Australia.

We work to ensure Australia is economically strong to support a fair, free and inclusive society for all Australians. Achieving this requires successful, well-run businesses that create meaningful jobs and inclusive work environments which reflect and are accountable to the broader Australian community.

The Business Council champions the role that responsible businesses play in generating sustainable economic growth and advocate for policy settings that are in the national interest.

The BCA is committed to a national goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, including working on a 2035 target, through a coordinated and well managed transition that drives investment in new technologies, develops new export industries, preserves energy security and affordability, and actively supports regions and communities.

Many BCA members will be at the centre of the net zero transition and be required to make the significant investments and long-term planning decisions to achieve Australia’s goals.

One of the key insights and recommendations from the BCA’s ‘Achieving a net zero economy’ report was:

“Proactive transition planning is needed to assist regional communities to attract new, low and zero carbon industries and to retrain and reskill local workforces.

By invigorating investment in regional Australia, the regions can be positioned to be net economic beneficiaries of a net zero economy, including through leveraging government and business partnerships.

Create a National Regional Transition Taskforce to proactively manage the shift to new low emissions industries and ensure governments, business and communities are working together to position regional Australia as a net beneficiary of a net zero economy”.

The scale, breadth and complexity of the transition to net zero has been described as the next industrial revolution by some commentators, and equated with world war mobilisation efforts by others. The Net Zero Australia study estimates a cumulative capital investment of $7 to $9 trillion is required to transition our economy to net zero.

As stated in the Bill’s explanatory memorandum, “all levels of government, and the private sector, will need to work in a more coordinated way to catalyse the investment needed to support the decarbonisation of existing emissions-intensive industries, support the establishment of new industries and the creation of new jobs and other opportunities arising from the net zero transformation”.

Government is in the unique position to assist in the coordination and integration required across the economy and the community to transition to net zero. This is the only way to ensure that Australia attracts the capital investment required to achieve a net zero economy in a way that serves the broader community.

You can read our full submission here


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