The Energy White Paper sets out the Australian Government's policy framework to guide the transformation of Australia's energy and energy resource sectors.
This transformation is well underway. Australia is moving to an increasingly integrated energy system where a more diverse set of technologies and fuels will strengthen our long-term energy security and help to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia is an energy economy. As one of only three OECD energy-exporting nations and a major supplier of energy resources to the growing markets of Asia, energy underpins our prosperity.
We are well positioned to build on our current success through our enormous natural endowment of energy resources, a strong economy, robust energy markets, a highly skilled workforce, a well-deserved reputation for innovation, and a world-class research and development base.
Nevertheless, there will be challenges, not least because of changes in global markets.
Energy is an essential service and we must work hard to continue to deliver a reliable supply of energy to consumers while minimising future energy price pressures, and particularly to protect the most vulnerable among us and to maintain our economic competitiveness.
This will require all Australian governments to commit to, and carry out, unfinished reforms that will build more efficient and competitive energy markets and support more informed consumer choices. We must also work together to minimise project costs and to attract future investment by improving our productivity and streamlining the regulation and approval processes that apply to energy resource development. This will create new wealth and jobs, especially in many areas in regional Australia.
The Energy White Paper has been informed by rigorous analysis and by the input from detailed submissions by consumers, businesses, peak industry bodies, and Indigenous and community organisations. I offer my sincere thanks to all those who participated.
No long-term forecast is ever certain, but I am confident that the policies and priorities outlined here provide the soundest possible basis for the continued development of our energy markets and resources. Working together, we will be able to manage Australia's energy transformation and ensure our nation's prosperity for decades to come.
The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP
Minister for Resources and Energy