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Time for business to champion sensible responses on energy

Today one of our major national newspapers is carrying a front-page story about the ongoing energy crisis and the potential economic risks that flow from political plans based around ideology not reality.

Peter Strong, CEO of Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), responded saying; “Business knows that if you have a problem then you must address it with a plan that identifies and manages change and the risks - practically and comprehensively – you can’t stand still. It is time for our political parties to stop pandering to the extreme left and extreme right voices in their ranks – they must let the ‘sensible centre’ majority to be heard.”

“Small business is frustrated and angry – we continue to feel the pain from ever increasing energy prices while farmers and businesses in regional communities face devastating losses from bushfire and floods of increasing severity.”

COSBOA knows that small business people, like all Australians, want an energy system that provides reliable and affordable electricity while reducing GHG emissions. This can be done without destroying jobs and wrecking the Australian economy in the process.

COSBOA will be holding an invite-only Small Business Energy Summit in Melbourne on 20 March to confront this issue head-on. This summit will focus on all challenges and develop a roadmap that is about change management and risk management. The Energy Summit will be working out ways small businesses can take control of their electricity usage and costs, in a way that is both affordable and environmentally responsible.

Mr Strong added, “Many households have voted with their feet by installing rooftop solar panels. Doing this in a small business, operating in a building or shop they don’t necessarily own is harder, but not impossible.”

“And it is not just about coal and renewables. There are major opportunities for Australia to better harness its vast reserves of natural gas to power Australia’s economy with lower carbon emissions, alongside coal and renewables. Yet many State/Territory governments appear to be asleep at the wheel in respect of these opportunities”.

“We are going to assemble a team of partners (political leaders, business leaders – big, medium and small) to develop a practical plan that will work for Australian Businesses.”

“We are delighted that Minister Taylor has agreed to open the forum and we will be inviting the other political leaders in this space to tell us how they could help Australian businesses (of all sizes) take control of their energy costs and responsibly reduce their GHG emissions”.

Mr Strong finally added; “It is past time for action. The time for talk ended years ago.”

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