Australia wants to be “energy superpower”

Australia wants to overhaul its energy sector and even become an “energy superpower”, its Industry Minister said yesterday. A month into office, the country’s new government has brought out plans […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Australia wants to overhaul its energy sector and even become an “energy superpower”, its Industry Minister said yesterday.

A month into office, the country’s new government has brought out plans for an Energy White Paper laying out “economy-wide reforms” of Australia’s energy sector.

Easing energy costs for householders and helping businesses be internationally competitive are top of the agenda, as is making the most of Australian gas resources and selling these abroad.

Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said: “Australia has the potential to be an energy and resources superpower, particularly in terms of LNG exports. We have considerable energy resources but it is important to assure investors that Australia is ‘open for business’ and to have clear and predictable policy settings.”

Expressing a wish to avoid “nasty surprises” for international investors, he said a stable energy policy is “essential because it is closely connected to issues that affect every home and business, including electricity prices”.

He criticised the previous Labor Government for “bungled” energy reforms “beset by an endless cycle of delays”.

The aim is to complete the Energy White Paper in September 2014, with initial plans in a ‘Green Paper’ due in May 2014.