Keep industry accountable

John Bradley
John Bradley

The Electrical Networks Association (ENA) has identified 35 stakeholders rejecting the removal of accountability measures in the Limited Merits Review (LMR) regime.

ENA chief executive officer John Bradley said most stakeholder submissions to the COAG Energy Council supported reform to the current process, but rejected the option to abolish the regime.

“Among the 35 submissions, there was widespread support for reform of the current regime and widespread rejection of proposals to abolish the appeal rights of customers and networks,“ Mr Bradley said.

“Even excluding network businesses, over 80 per cent of submissions rejected the abolition of the appeals process, which plays a vital role in ensuring high quality regulatory decisions in the interest of customers.

“Only four organisations, including the Australian Energy Regulator, supported abolition of merits-based review and reliance on judicial review alone.”

Under current laws, the Australian Competition Tribunal could no overturn a decision by the regulator unless it was proven to be better for customers.

Former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Professor Graeme Samuel said in his submission to the LMR review there was no evidentiary basis for making substantial changes to the framework.

“Rather, we urge the Energy Council to allow the current LMR regime to drive better regulatory decision-making, in line with the framework established in the rules, for the long term benefit of consumers,” he said.