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Senate to examine regulatory causes of high energy bills

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Thursday 23 August 2012 Senate to examine regulatory causes of high energy bills In an encouraging move for all Australians, the Senate will inquire into the causes of high energy bills and the options for bringing them down while still cutting the pollution that drives global warming. After extensive negotiation with the Government, Opposition and independent experts, the Greens have today withdrawn a long-standing motion to instigate a Senate Inquiry into the causes of high energy bills in favour of a tri-partite referral with similar goals. “This is a great example of the parties working effectively together to get an outcome which should, over time, benefit all Australians, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to facilitate it,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said. “Experts have been telling us for years that the National Energy Market rules are holding back energy efficiency opportunities and the expansion of low-cost renewable energy while encouraging over-investment in grid infrastructure to meet peak needs for only a few hours a year. “This is yet another case where sensible planning for the long-term would see us invest in bringing down energy demand through energy efficiency and demand management instead of spending billions on infrastructure to meet the need, costing Australians dearly in higher energy bills for no good reason. “The Greens put reform of the National Energy Market rules on the table during the negotiations for the price on pollution, a process now in train through COAG. “This Senate Inquiry will give experts an excellent opportunity to put evidence before the Government, Opposition and the Greens that bringing on real reform to the way the energy market is run, including amending the National Electricity Objective, will help bring down energy bills and bring on a cleaner, healthier, smarter economy. “I encourage anyone with an interest in these issues to engage with this committee, as it will feed into the COAG process of energy market reform.” Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562