Angus Taylor has been reappointed as Energy Minister after Prime Minister named his Federal Cabinet. Tellingly, he has also had Emissions Reduction added to his portfolio, indicating an intention from the Government to expand its focus on cleaner energy sources.
Mr Taylor said he was honoured to be appointed to the role; and noted that his party had been re-elected with a clear mandate to get on with the job of driving down wholesale and retail electricity prices while improving energy reliability and meeting our international emissions commitments.
“We have targeted a 25 per cent reduction in the average National Electricity Market wholesale price, requiring further implementation of ACCC recommendations, including underwriting new 24/7 electricity supply and competition,” said Mr Taylor
“The Government has also committed to the Climate Solutions Package, which includes detailed initiatives to meet our 2030 emission reduction commitments without damaging Australian industries, undermining jobs or hiking the cost of living.
“Meanwhile, the commencement of the retailer reliability obligation on 1 July will provide new incentives for industry to provide reliable, 24/7 power to keep the lights on and the wheels of industry turning.
“The election result has shown that Australians trust the Morrison Government to deliver on crucial energy market reforms,” he said.
The industry responded positively to the re-appointment of Minister Taylor and his expanded portfolio.
Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, said the industry looked forward to continuing to work with Minister Taylor in progressing a sustainable energy future at what is a critical time in the evolution of the sector.
“Our key priorities are the grid integration challenges of connecting renewables, both large and small scale, the National Hydrogen Strategy and maintaining the sector’s financeability.
“Energy and climate policies are closely linked and combing the two is a positive step towards the policy certainty and stability the industry needs.
“Renewable energy presents many opportunities but also challenges for the grid, which is why Energy Networks Australia has been working with the Australian Energy Market Operator on the Open Energy Networks project,” Mr Dillon said.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) also welcomed the re-appointment of Mr Taylor for Energy, as well as the re-appointment of Senator Matt Canavan as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said the industry looks forward to working collaboratively with the ministers and the Australian government to continue the safe and sustainable development of the nation’s oil and gas resources.
“Last weekend’s election result highlighted that the nation wants a solid and growing economy, and a clear focus on stable energy and climate policy. We need policies that enable Australians to enjoy the benefits of our abundant natural resources and manage the transition to a lower carbon economy.
“Our resources play a critical role in underpinning our economic well-being. Hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs rely on a reliable, affordable gas supply,” Mr McConville said.
Mr McConville said that continuing the development of our onshore and offshore gas resources would help increase that contribution, and Ministers Taylor and Canavan will play key roles in delivering these benefits.
“As a Senator representing regional Queensland, Minister Canavan knows firsthand the vital contribution the resources sector makes to rural and regional communities,” Mr McConville said.
“Minister Taylor’s commercial experience and understanding will be critical in finding solutions to ensuring affordable energy, maintaining reliable supply, reducing emissions and attracting new investment to the energy sector.
“We look forward to working closely with both ministers as they continue in these critical roles.”
The Australian Energy Council also congratulated Mr Taylor on his new appointment.
The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said the energy industry looks forward to a continuing and productive relationship with Mr Taylor.
“We share the Morrison Government‘s commitment to better energy market outcomes for Australian households and businesses.
“There are policy challenges ahead, but we believe that a collaborative approach will be to the benefit of all energy customers.”
Australian Wind Alliance is hopeful that the appointment will encourage investment in renewables, and said “We look forward to increased support for wind power, which is some of the cheapest new power around and generates zero emissions.”
AGL also congratulated Minister Taylor and said “We’re keen to continue to work with you and the industry to drive better outcomes for energy consumers.”
“I look forward to continuing to work for the Australians who have entrusted us with this incredibly important job,” Minister Taylor said.