NEG deal gets one step closer to reality

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 12, 2018

Energy ministers are under pressure to strike an agreement on the Turnbull government's National Energy Guarantee at a crucial meeting in Sydney on Friday.

Energy Minister Guy Barnett says his state is a "strong supporter" of the guarantee.

But opposition from Labor governments in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT is threatening to block the deal.

Energy Security Board chairwoman Kerry Schott, who helped design the policy, told the meeting the result was a "great step forward".

"It's not flawless. But what it does do is present Australia and investors with certainty.I sincerely hope that reason prevails on Friday and we get an agreement on the NEG", Nigel Garrard, managing director of packaging manufacturer Orora Ltd, told reporters on Thursday.

"The time has come to get on with it", he said. And under the proposed NEG, the target would be reviewed every five years and could even be lifted, if parliament agreed to do so.

There are conflicting views among industry groups over whether the policy should get support, with some like energy retailer AGL it will deliver certainty for investors.

It's one of the Coalition's signature policies that has faced intense criticism.

Opponents to the policy within the coalition have indicated they will ask for changes to create what they've called the "NEG Plus".

"It was not endorsed by the party room. He's said that before, and I've disagreed with him before", Mr Abbott said.

Energy Minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan says the state wants to contribute to a sensible national energy policy.

The Victorian energy minister, Lily D'Ambrosio, declared on Friday she would continue to withhold endorsement for the scheme "until it supports lower bills, lower emissions and more renewable-energy jobs for Victoria".

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