The newly elected Labor Federal Government has handed down its new Ministry appointments, including the Minister for Climate Change and Energy.
Chris Bowen has been appointed as Minister for Climate Change and Energy, with Jenny McAllister as Assistant Minister.
Mr Bowen will replace Angus Taylor who was Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.
This will be the first time since 2013 that Australia has had a Minister for Climate Change at the federal level.
Ms McAllister will replace Tim Wilson who lost his seat of Goldstein to independent Zoe Daniel.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said, “This is a team with people who are absolutely committed to making a difference as Ministers and Assistant Ministers in my Government.”
Ms McAllister has scrutinised the Coalition’s climate and energy policies in previous years, whereas Mr Bowen has focused on promoting the economic benefits of transitioning to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
The Federal Government aims to promote a transition to clean and renewable energy, encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, and tackle surging energy costs.
“There are major challenges for the environment. We know that the impact of climate change is having a significant impact,” Mr Albanese said.
Mr Albanese said the Federal Government has been very conscious about the issue of cost of living, particularly energy prices.
Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has welcomed Mr Bowen’s appointment.
ENA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said the network sector looked forward to working with Mr Bowen to deliver Australia’s transition to a net zero emissions energy system.
“Australia’s energy networks have a vital role to play in decarbonising the energy system,” Mr Dillon said.
“Our members are aligned on the importance of creating a whole-of-system approach that sees transmission, distribution and gas networks working together to achieve Australia’s net zero ambitions.
“Governments at all levels have a role to play in supporting renewables integration and delivering policy settings that put downward pressure on energy prices.
“Timely and efficient investment in new transmission is an urgent priority and we look forward to working with the incoming government to ensure its Rewiring the Nation policy delivers the more connected grid electricity customers need.”
Mr Dillon said the newly elected Government’s proposed reforms would be well supported by changes to the way the Commonwealth engaged with state energy ministers.
“Mr Albanese’s plan, articulated in Powering Australia, to convene an urgent national energy council meeting of state and territory energy ministers is strongly supported,’’ Mr Dillon said.
‘’The council’s reestablishment and Government’s commitment to greater collaboration between the states and territories is essential for a more consistent approach to energy affordability and sustainability challenges.
“The energy sector looks forward to these meetings being more transparent and consultative.”