Business and industry respond to Hazelwood closure

Hazelwood Power Station
Hazelwood Power Station

Industry is responding to the Hazelwood closure announcement, calling on all governments to work together to develop a cohesive policy taking the energy sector forward.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said the closure increased the urgency of reform to ensure energy was reliable and affordable.

“Forward prices for electricity have risen dramatically across the national energy market over the past year, reflecting a generally highter supply-demand balance,” he said.

Australian Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said the impact the announcement was having on the Latrobe community highlighted the lack of a transition plan.

“The idea of an efficient and reliable transition to a low carbon energy future in Australia is that we have a clear national strategy to continuously reduce emissions from the sector over time, that delivers this change reliably and at the lowest cost.

“Instead everybody is asking ‘what happens next?’ That is because there is no national plan, which has resulted in investment gridlock and growing uncertainty for business and consumers.”

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association called on the Victorian government to rethink energy policy.

“Victoria’s ban on onshore gas development makes no environmental or energy policy sense,” chief executive Malcolm Roberts said.

“Victoria needs to develop a new energy mix with a greater role for renewables and gas.”

Mr Roberts said the COAG Energy Council decision to establish the Finkel review was timely.

“More broadly, Hazelwood’s closure reinforces the need for the Commonwealth and states to commit to a genuine national plan to manage the transition to a cleaner energy sector.”

“COAG’s decision to commission the Finkel review to develop a ‘national energy blueprint’ to ensure Australia’s energy security could not be more timely.”