While the review of market governance arrangements has identified a breadth of views about the issues under consideration, there has also been unanimity on a number of critical elements. These include the value of continuing to pursue the development of the national market, and that it is a reform motivated by the objective of promoting the long term interest of consumers.
The process of developing a national energy market in our federal structure is not easy. It is reasonable for participants to be frustrated at progress after nearly twenty-five years of activity. However this frustration should not deflect from the very significant achievements thus far.
Opinions will and do differ over the appropriate governance arrangements. The Report highlights these views and identifies a steady path to address most of those concerns.
ECA believes that these changes will be most effective to the extent that the recommendations relating to stakeholder engagement are implemented. As noted in this submission, ECA will be engaging with the regulatory institutions and other participants to ensure that engagement with consumers is effective.
ECA agrees with the Report’s conclusion that the objective should not be changed, but that there could be value in considering the wording and whether any ancillary information would assist interpretation. ECA believes that the Review should recommend that the Energy Council should undertake such a review once current proceedings in the Australian Competition Tribunal are concluded.
ECA has appreciated the opportunity to participate in this governance review and to execute on our commitments to provide a “strong, balanced and proactive” voice for consumers. We look forward to the Review’s final report and working with the Energy Council to give effect to its recommendations.