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We have a plan – an energy plan.

COSBOA has welcomed the “Powering Forward” energy plan announced by the government yesterday.

Peter Strong CEO of COSBOA said today “we now have a plan. It has certainty, as best we can in this day and age, around reliability and it promises that eventually prices will fall. We want and need to confront reality now and implement the plan.”

COSBOA is aware of the uncertainty in the small business community around access to power and the impact of increased power costs that has forced some to shed staff, increase prices or close businesses. We need action not emotion and ideology. There is still concern about energy costs in the short term but a real well-thought out plan is better than nothing.

COSBOA notes:

The Government’s new plan is one that pragmatically balances the need for small businesses to have reliable and affordable energy, while gradually reducing the Nation’s GHG emissions in line with our international obligations.

This plan was developed by all of the national energy market agencies and has been welcomed as a good alternative solution by Professor Alan Finkel.

That when it comes to reducing emissions quickly, the plan may not be ‘perfect’, but it is workable and will reduce GHG emissions steadily.

All State/Territory Governments must support the plan as to not do so (because the plan is not ‘perfect’) would be to further delay finalisation of a more certain and affordable energy future for Australian businesses – solely on the grounds of differing ideological opinions between governments.

Now is the time to act on a ‘good plan’. This is the third national energy plan since 2008 and we are in the situation we are because none of the previous plans have been implemented. Rather than continue to debate and argue positions for a ‘perfect plan’ – at the risk of further increases in energy prices for all Australians – we call on all Australian Governments to come together now and make it work.

Mr Strong added “we in business know about managing change. We know there has to be a plan, a good comprehensive plan. We know that that plan has to be reviewed regularly and checked for efficacy and continuing relevance. The “Powering Forward” plan needs to be implemented after due consultation and we are ready to advise and assist in the process.

The states who have been a major part of the problem need to agree through the COAG process to action. Then once it has started, once a good amount of certainty is in place and we can write business plans with more confidence, then and only then can the debate continue about climate change and renewable energy.

Importantly there are good innovative small business people who are developing better ways of creating and managing power, let’s support them.”

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