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Macfarlane positioning for a 'blame the States' approach to energy policy.

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MEDIA RELEASE Joel Fitzgibbon MP Federal Member for Hunter Shadow Minister for Resources Electorate 45 Vincent Street PO Box 526 Cessnock NSW 2325 Ph: (02) 4991 1022 Fax: (02) 4991 2322 Parliament House RG 52 Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: (02) 6277 4404 Fax: (02) 6277 8479

Monday October 28, 2002


John Howard’s Resources Minister is positioning the Government for a ‘blame the States’ approach to energy market reform.

In his speech to the Australian Pipeline Association in Hobart today, Ian Macfarlane adopted an unnecessarily hostile approach to difficult jurisdictional issues in the energy market.

It appears Ian Macfarlane has already dropped the ball on energy market reform and is seeking to lower expectations of anything innovative emerging from the Parer Review.

Mr Macfarlane says that NSW cannot continue to play both generator and regulator but he should talk to John Brogden and his colleagues in the NSW Opposition who have reversed their support for the privatisation of the industry in NSW.

Despite early scepticism, some hope had emerged that the Paper Review would seriously consider the issues put forward in the 150 submissions it had received. It appears those hopes may now have been dashed.

Removing layers of regulation, reducing regulatory risk and providing Australian industry with competitively price energy are goals Labor shares but the issues are complex and consumer interests must also remain at the forefront of the policy debate.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 Katie Brassil 0401 107 491