Industry has welcomed the state government’s establishment of a round table to discuss electricity market reform.
Energy Minister Peter Collier launched the initiative today at an energy conference, to address the ongoing issue of power affordability in the state.
The Barnett government has imposed a 62 per cent increase in power prices since coming into power in 2008, according to the state opposition.
Mr Collier said the round table would consist of 11 permanent and rotational members to lead discussion on electricity sector issues that impact consumers.
“The importance of this round table cannot be underestimated as it will provide the opportunity for community focused organisations such as the Western Australian Council of Social Services to engage with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, or the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA to discuss future generation requirements and opportunities with the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia,” Mr Collier said in a statement.
CCI WA chief executive James Pearson welcomed the move, hailing it as a positive step on the way to electricity reform.
“CCI has been active in advocating the need for energy reform and we are encouraged by the release of the Strategic Energy Initiative,” Mr Pearson said.
“The state’s energy market must be transformed if households and businesses are to reap full benefits.
“Greater investment by the private sector and more competition and choice for households and business should be a priority.
“We need a plan, we need to make decision and we need to get on with the job.”
The 11 permanent members of the round table are the Minister for Energy, CCI WA, CME, WA Independent Power Association, Perth Energy, Alinta Energy, ATCO Australia, Western Australian Council of Social Services, Uniting Care West, Property Council of Australia, and the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia.
The eight rotational members consist of the Water Corporatio,; the Combined Small Business Alliance of WA, the Country Women’s Association of WA, the National Seniors Association, APPEA, The Australian Pipeline Industry Association, DomGas Alliand and EnerNOC.