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A Platform for Building Future Energy Policy

After nearly four years and extensive consultation, the State Government has released its Strategic Energy Initiative (SEI) today which provides for yet further consultation with industry.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith said the long awaited report would be welcomed by the resources sector which outlines key goals central to the government’s approach to the ongoing development of Western Australian energy markets.

“CME broadly supports the vision and is pleased to see the formation of an industry roundtable and the commitment to regularly review the benefits and disadvantages of the Government continuing to own electricity businesses in a competitive market,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“While Minister Collier has stated the Verve Synergy re-merger was not a priority, the SEI does not rule this out. Industry is worried a re-merger would significantly dampen enthusiasm for private investment, decrease competition and put upwards pressure on energy prices.

“A competitive energy market is essential for a strong Western Australian economy and a key theme for the future growth of the resources sector along with people and water.”

CME has forecast electricity demand to grow by 70 per cent in the next five years through the strength of the resources sector.

“Energy is key microeconomic reform issue and should be considered along with key issues such as labour mobility, migration and a skilled workforce; reducing State and Federal duplication; and investment in key economic infrastructure like ports and rail to further promote productivity,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“The resources sector would have thought there would be more consideration of nuclear power in the SEI as a future fuel mix as a way to reduce our greenhouse emissions however it has largely been dismissed.”

CME is currently updating its State Growth Outlook document which will consider port, aviation, and road growth requirements along with demand for people, energy and water to support the resources sector through to 2025.

Industry looks forward to working with government on efficient ways to facilitate the expected growth pattern.